Baytown: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel team continue search for consistent performances at Houston Raceway Park. BAYTOWN, Texas, April 11, 2002 - Doug Herbert made an executive decision last week in Las Vegas and it had nothing to do with the city's ...

Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel team continue search for consistent performances at Houston Raceway Park.

BAYTOWN, Texas, April 11, 2002 - Doug Herbert made an executive decision last week in Las Vegas and it had nothing to do with the city's casinos.

No, he opted to change his approach to the current NHRA Powerade Series Top Fuel title race and the inconsistent performances of his Snap-on Racing dragster.

"I know Johnny (West, tuner and co-crew chief) can back down the combination and go slow," said Herbert. "We could run a 4.75 (seconds) or a 4.79 and maybe win one round of racing on Sunday, but that's all. That's just going down the track. I've done that. Now I want to run in the 4.60s, just like (Larry) Dixon."

Dixon is the guy dominating the Top Fuel championship series with three wins and a runner-up in the first four races, driving the only dragster that hasn't shown any signs of having trouble with this year's Goodyear tires.

"We need to run in the 4.60s consistently to be in the chase," added Herbert, from Cherryville, N.C. "We're not going to the track to run so-so."

West believes he's close to capturing the right combination. He'll have four opportunities Friday and Saturday during O'Reilly Spring Nationals qualifying at Houston Raceway Park to get prepared for Sunday's eliminations.

"We had some of the best 60-foot and 330-foot incremental times last week at Las Vegas," West said, "and I know I'm close to getting it figured out. I'm just missing something."

Herbert, meanwhile, plans to test on Monday after the Spring Nationals. "Close doesn't matter; it's who wins on Sunday that matters," commented Herbert. "I've been driving long enough that just going down the racetrack isn't exciting. Winning is the only thing that's exciting.

"Everybody in Top Fuel is in the same boat.  There's only one car that
knows how to get down the track right now.  We're going to do what we can
to get consistent and be competitive.  We aren't backing down."

Herbert qualified 10th at Las Vegas and lost in the opening round. He is ninth with 149 points.

-sr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert