DOUG HERBERT FALLS IN FIRST ROUND, DROPS TO THIRD IN TOP FUEL POINTS ENNIS, Texas - Doug Herbert's streak of two consecutive final-round appearances ended in a smoky haze Sunday in the Castrol Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. ...
DOUG HERBERT FALLS IN FIRST ROUND, DROPS TO THIRD IN TOP FUEL POINTS
ENNIS, Texas - Doug Herbert's streak of two consecutive final-round appearances ended in a smoky haze Sunday in the Castrol Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.
And Herbert's hope of catching Top Fuel point leader Mike Dunn has been delayed, at least until the Pennzoil Nationals, beginning Friday at Richmond, Va.
"At least we don't have long to think about losing in the first round," Herbert said after the disappointing setback. "We'll be ready to go to Richmond and give it our best shot."
The rear tires on the Snap-on Racing dragster began smoking early in the run against David Grubnic, who also experienced traction trouble. Both drivers pedaled the throttle and Grubnic's dragster regained traction first.
"I finally got it to stop smoking the tires, but so did he," Herbert added, "and he had the extra momentum." Grubnic stopped the clocks with a 5.833-second run at 191.85 mph while Herbert finished with a 5.936 at 283.01 mph.
Crew chief Dick LaHaie, meanwhile, knew the reason for the tire smoke. "We had a problem during qualifying and we fixed it for the first round," he said. "The engine jumped up and wanted to run. We were forced to change valve springs and the new parts definitely gave the engine more horsepower. I guess we solved one problem and created five more. The old valve springs were acting like a governor on the motor. We'll start over when we get to Richmond. We'll adjust to what the engine likes with higher rpm."
Herbert dropped to third in points with 346, 50 behind leader Mike Dunn's 399 and just three behind new runner-up Tony Schumacher's 349.
Herbert and the Snap-on crew will be ready for Pennzoil qualifying - Friday at 3:30 and 7:30, Saturday at noon and 4 p.m. Eliminations Sunday begin at 11 a.m.
Qualified: No. 7, 4.621 seconds, 309.38 mph.
First round: David Grubnic def. Herbert.
Pro Winners: Top Fuel, Gary Scelzi; Funny Car, Tony Pedregon; Pro Stock, Warren Johnson