Dallas: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert, Snap-on Top Fuel Team Ready for Some Racing Falls Nationals at Texas Motorplex Unfolds Sept. 24-26 ENNIS, Texas, Sept. 22, 2004 - After watching heavy rain turn parking lots to quagmire at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., early ...

Herbert, Snap-on Top Fuel Team Ready for Some Racing
Falls Nationals at Texas Motorplex Unfolds Sept. 24-26

ENNIS, Texas, Sept. 22, 2004 - After watching heavy rain turn parking lots to quagmire at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., early Saturday morning, Doug Herbert was positive he would be heading home instead of driving his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster in Sunday competition.

He was dead-on with the thinking. NHRA officials were forced to postpone the event until October 8-10.

What does that mean for Herbert and his team?

"We didn't get to make one run at Maple Grove because of the rain," said Herbert, who, like everyone else would've preferred to compete. "The crew then left for Dallas and this week's race."

That would be the Fall Nationals at the Motorplex, Sept. 24-26.

"We always like racing at the Motorplex," added Herbert.  "Billy Meyer (a
former Funny Car driver) built a good racetrack.  It usually turns out
some good elapsed times and high speeds.  But a lot depends on the
weather, too.  If it's cooler and there's a cloud cover, it will be good
for us.  The hotter it gets, the slower it becomes."

Coming off a good qualifying performance at Indianapolis over Labor Day Weekend, Herbert and tuner Ed "Ace" McCulloch were anxious to make more runs at the Pennsylvania facility. But the remnants of Hurricane Ivan doused those hopes.

"It looks like it's going to be dry in Dallas, and that will be a big help," said McCulloch. "We are looking forward to running on a good racetrack. We'd like to see the weather be a little cooler than the mid-80-degree temperatures I that were predicted earlier this week, but it's 100 percent better than rain.

"We may have a new tune-up variable this weekend that we didn't have last week," he continued. "Goodyear is supposed to have a new tire for the dragsters to run. Whenever we have a change like that, it alters the whole tuning procedure. We aren't sure how these tires are going to react to our setup, but we'll find out pretty quick."

The scenario is the same for the other Top Fuel teams as well, putting a higher premium on making Friday's first qualifying run a good one.

"It always helps to run good on the first pass down the track," said McCulloch. "We like to come out of the box swinging."

Qualifying runs are slated for 4:30 and 7 p.m. Friday and 12:30 and 3 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.

This event was scheduled to be the middle of three straight races, instead of the first. The team moves to Joliet, Ill., Oct. 1-3, and returns to Maple Grove Oct. 8-10.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert