Herberrt Looks for Winning Opportunity SNAP-ON RACING REPORT: Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel Team's Goal Is To Eliminate Mechanical Problems, Win Fall Nationals ENNIS , Texas, Oct. 12, 2001 - Doug Herbert looks at the three remaining races and sees...
Herberrt Looks for Winning Opportunity
SNAP-ON RACING REPORT: Herbert, Snap-On Top Fuel Team's Goal Is To Eliminate Mechanical Problems, Win Fall Nationals
ENNIS , Texas, Oct. 12, 2001 - Doug Herbert looks at the three remaining races and sees an opportunity to win at least one of them.
To do so would help him finish seventh in the Winston Series Top Fuel standings. It would equal his best showing in NHRA competition and give him a foundation to build what he hopes will be a serious bid for the 2002 championship.
The first of the final trio of events is the O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Oct. 19-21 at the Texas Motorplex. Still boasting the sport's only all-concrete racing surface and the ability to produce low elapsed times and high speeds, the Motorplex is one place where Herbert is still seeking his initial victory.
"I don't know what it is about the place, but I really haven't done well there," said Herbert. "But I've had some success this year doing better at tracks like that, so maybe we'll be able to turn things around and get our Snap-on Racing dragster into winner's circle. I'd like nothing better than to go to the Motorplex and win the race.
"We need to do well," he continued, "because (eighth-place Tony) Schumacher is getting closer to us (in the standings). We are three rounds ahead with three races to go. We don't want him to get any closer than what he is now.
"The Motorplex track is good even when it's warm. We're looking forward to getting there and going racing."
Herbert's advantage is 54 points (1088-1034) and there are 20 points available for each round win.
The Cherryville, N.C. driver has collected just two round wins in nine previous races at the Motorplex going back to 1991. Each round win came at this time of year (1998 and 1999) when the Motorplex hosted both spring and fall events. Earlier in the season Herbert won rounds for the first time in four years at Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif.
It's that kind of performance he wants to see from the Snap-on dragster, not the problem-plagued outing like at Reading, Pa. (Oct. 5-7). Blowers breaking and clutches malfunctioning prevented Herbert from making challenging for the race win.
On a weekend when some drivers dipped into the 4.49-second range and it took a 4.589-second elapsed time to qualify in the top eight, Herbert's best was 4.662, and that put him 10th. A clutch disc disintegrated in his first-round race against Larry Dixon, Dixon winning with a 4.505 to a 5.322.
"We had so many problems," Herbert recalled. "I think we should be in good shape by the time we get to Texas. (Crew chief Larry) Frazier and the Snap-on crew have been working hard to get everything ready for the last three races."