Columbus: Herbert looking forward to Pontiac Nationals

Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel Team Want To Continue Good Performances At National Trail Raceway COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 12, 2001 - For much of this 2001 National Hot Rod Association season, Doug Herbert's goal has been to match his...

Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel Team Want To Continue Good Performances At National Trail Raceway

COLUMBUS, Ohio, June 12, 2001 - For much of this 2001 National Hot Rod Association season, Doug Herbert's goal has been to match his qualifying performance on race day.

He hadn't been too successful until two weeks ago at Joliet, Ill. Now he and his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team are anxiously awaiting the Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 15-17 at National Trail Raceway in nearby Kirkersville, to continue the process.

Herbert has had several good experiences at National Trail during his career - victories in 1999 and 1993 - to further whet his competitive appetite.

"Columbus has been good to us in the past," he said. "It will most likely be a hot, slick track. Our car is running pretty good and we're looking forward to it."

Due to the humid, slippery conditions, the form chart isn't much good at National Trail. Drivers know they could be locked in a tire-smoking, throttle-pedaling duel on any run. For example, one has to go back to 1994-95 to find the winner starting from the pole position (Scott Kalitta both times). Two years ago Herbert won from the No. 11 slot. He began the day from No. 3 in 1993, and last year's winner, Tony Schumacher, was sixth.

Herbert drove to his quickest time of the year, 4.558 seconds, and fastest speed, 320.51 mph, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet and was fifth when competition began. He defeated Chris Karamesines with a 4.561 at 320.51 and Darrell Russell with a 4.565 at 319.52, then gave eventual winner Kenny Bernstein his closest race of the day with a 4.599 at 316.82 to a winning 4.533 at 323.81.

"We learned some things that will definitely help us," Herbert said. "I think we found the path that goes in the right direction. Now it looks like we'll be able to do something on race day. I think our team is ready to get our act together and win a race. And I know where the winner's circle is at this track."

Herbert has qualified in the top eight in eight of the first 10 races, with a season high of second at Englishtown, N.J. He hadn't been able to get to the semifinals before June 3.

"We may be able to move up in the standings if we keep this up," he commented. "We aren't that far out of seventh place."

Herbert, who is eighth with 481 points, is only 32 behind Schumacher's 513.

Doug Herbert Facts: Age: 33 Hometown: Cherryville, N.C.

Career final-round record: 5-11 2001 final rounds: None

Quickest 2001 time: 4.558 seconds (6/2, Joliet, Ill.); Fastest 2001 speed: 320.51 mph (6/3, Joliet, Ill.)

Career best time: 4.551 seconds (3/99, Gainesville, Fla.) Career fastest speed: 321.65 mph (4/99, Houston)

-SnapOn-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Tony Schumacher , Chris Karamesines , Scott Kalitta