ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 13, 2000 - Like any other father of three, Doug Herbert enjoys having Sundays to spend with the kids, as long as those Sundays aren't race days. Herbert was at his Cherryville, N.C., home Saturday night (Oct. 7) after...
ENNIS, Texas, Oct. 13, 2000 - Like any other father of three, Doug Herbert enjoys having Sundays to spend with the kids, as long as those Sundays aren't race days.
Herbert was at his Cherryville, N.C., home Saturday night (Oct. 7) after taking an early flight from Memphis, the victim of a spate of mechanical failures that prevented him from qualifying the Snap-on Racing dragster at Memphis Motorsports Park.
"Not qualifying is the pits," Herbert said. "We had five races in six weeks and all the time away from the shop caught up with us. We didn't have time to step back and take a look at our equipment."
Herbert and crew chief Larry Frazier discovered problems in the cylinder head and clutch areas.
"All that stuff will be fixed before we go to Dallas (and the Texas Motorplex, located in nearby Ennis)," Herbert said of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Oct. 20-22. "We always look forward to the Motorplex because we know the racetrack is good.
"We need to start performing. Our goal is to qualify for the Big Bud Shootout (an elite eight-car field consisting of drivers earning the most qualifying points throughout the year that pays the winner $100,000) at Pomona (Calif.)," Herbert continued. "We also want to finish in the top 10 in points."
Herbert ranks ninth in Winston Series standings with 807 points, 67 more than David Grubnic and 66 less than eighth-place Bob Vandergriff Jr., with three races remaining. Stops in Houston (Oct. 29) and Pomona (Nov. 12) follow the Fall Nationals.
Herbert holds down eighth place with 2375 points in the Shootout, 90 ahead of Don Lampus and 100 in front of Vandergriff. Qualifying points are available at the Motorplex and Houston.
"I was disgusted when we didn't qualify at Memphis," said Herbert. The dragster smoked the tires on the first run, had a bad magneto on the second, a fuel valve that didn't work on the third and, finally, kicked the rods out of the engine on the final attempt.
"We'd qualified in the top half of the (16-car) field 12 times, but we usually have made just one or two good runs," Herbert pointed out. "We want to finish the year by running more consistently than we have been. I hope that's what we can do at the Motorplex."
Herbert qualified seventh in his first stop at the track this year (May 28), running his third-fastest time, 4.640 seconds, and second best speed, 318.13 mph, of the campaign