Commerce: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert ready for Southern Nationals LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- Now it is time to make a move. With six NHRA POWERade events in the next eight weeks, Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel team are gearing up to make the next few rounds of drag ...

Herbert ready for Southern Nationals

LINCOLNTON, N.C. -- Now it is time to make a move. With six NHRA POWERade events in the next eight weeks, Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel team are gearing up to make the next few rounds of drag racing something to talk about.

The first test will be this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals in Commerce, Ga., just outside of Atlanta. Pro qualifying starts Friday.

Herbert, the 2002 runner-up at the Southern Nationals, is ready for the first marathon of the 2005 schedule.

"The best thing about this race is that it is close to home and considering that it is the first of a long stretch of races, it's great knowing we don't have to stray too far from the shop," Herbert said. "We've been to the final round there before and I think we should make that a habit. This time we need to step up and win."

Herbert knows the demands of the 23-race schedule can stretch a team as far as equipment and energy. His solution was a day in the sun.

"We had the team over to the house on Sunday just to make sure everyone had a great day before we got back on the road," Herbert said. "We needed some time away from the shop to have a little fun. We ate some great food, took the jet ski and boat out on the lake and in general, had a relaxing time.

"This team works real hard every day and they deserved to goof off before we had to focus on the next race."

The team spent the week between Bristol (May 1) and Commerce working on the car on and off the track in hopes of improving the dragster's ability to get off the starting line.

"The test session in Bristol was great," Herbert said. "We are going to get this Snap-on dragster off the line quicker and start winning some rounds. We changed a few things and immediately saw a difference and that always makes a test session worth the extra time and money at the track.

"After a long, rainy weekend in Bristol I was proud of the way the team focused on figuring out how to get the car moving off the line better. I think we are close to being more competitive."

Now it's time for the Snap-on team and the rest of the NHRA series to get back to work. With six winner's circle trophies up for grabs in the next two months, Herbert knows what the team has to avoid.

"We can't make mistakes," Herbert said. "We started the year with a new team with the exception of two guys and we used the first part of the season to learn how to work well with each other and make some changes to the car. Now it's time to put all of that to good use during four winning rounds on Sunday."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert