Columbus: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert makes his way back to National Trail Raceway COLUMBUS -- This weekend National Trail Raceway will play host to an NHRA national event for the 41st year. In more than four decades of racing, National Trail has been good, bad and even...

Herbert makes his way back to National Trail Raceway

COLUMBUS -- This weekend National Trail Raceway will play host to an NHRA national event for the 41st year. In more than four decades of racing, National Trail has been good, bad and even sometimes ugly.

Snap-on Top Fuel pilot Doug Herbert has just positive thoughts about Ohio's most famed drag strip. He's earned two victories (1993, '99) and one runner-up finish ('02) and has plans to keep the fun streak alive.

"Sometimes we deal with shaky weather conditions, but that's the Midwest," Herbert said. "But a lot of people can bring a bad attitude into the Columbus race and that probably doesn't help them too much. I love the track and we've done well there in the past and I'm always happy to race there.

"For some reason, we've had success there and it helps me bring a positive attitude to that track every year. I think we can win that race every time we go there."

The NHRA POWERade Series starts pro qualifying for the 41st annual Pontiac Performance Nationals on Friday. Qualifying continues Saturday before final eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

Herbert knows the team hasn't reached the potential he knows is lurking near the surface. He also knows the point standings are close. Herbert and the Snap-on team sit in the No. 9 spot, 233 points out of first place and less than a 100 points away from fifth place.

"The good thing is that all the teams in the top 10 have been keeping everyone honest," Herbert said. "It's a tight chase and there is room to move up, but we can't take too long making a move. There are just 23 events each season and we're headed to the eighth race already."

Tuner Rob Flynn and consultant Jim Brissette have made strides toward a more consistent and competitive setup. The tuning alliance with Wayne Dupuy, crew chief of the fourth-place car driven by Morgan Lucas, has also helped.

"The relationship between both teams has helped, but it has taken a little longer for the positive results than I thought it would," Herbert said. "These are complicated cars and it takes a while to make changes. Wayne has helped us a lot and both teams are using more similar parts now so we can really start to help each other."

ESPN2 will air coverage of this weekend's event starting with qualifying at 11 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Final eliminations will start at 7 p.m. (ET) on Sunday.

-gs-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Morgan Lucas