Herbert enthused as Wes Cerny joins Snap-on team at Brainerd. CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Aug. 11, 2003 - Disappointed with his racecar's performance, Doug Herbert took what he hopes is a giant step toward improving it by hiring veteran Wes Cerny to tune...
Herbert enthused as Wes Cerny joins Snap-on team at Brainerd.
CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Aug. 11, 2003 - Disappointed with his racecar's performance, Doug Herbert took what he hopes is a giant step toward improving it by hiring veteran Wes Cerny to tune his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster.
"Wes will be on board when we get to Brainerd (Minn., site of the Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 15-17) and will definitely tune the car there and at Indianapolis (site of the U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29-Sept. 1)," said Herbert. "I want to return to the performance level we had late last year."
With Cerny making the tuning decisions, Herbert enjoyed an exciting finish to the 2002 NHRA POWERade season. He earned his first NHRA No. 1 qualifying position at the second Chicago-area event in September - registering his career-best time of 4.518 seconds - and added another at the second Las Vegas race in October. He also went to the semifinals at four of the last five races, finishing seventh in the final standings.
"I think this will be good for us," added Herbert. "This year, we'd hoped to be able to build from what we learned with Cerny tuning us last year, but we've struggled," added Herbert. "I'm definitely looking at extending Cerny's working relationship with us."
Crew chief Ron Douglas and tuning consultant Jim Brissette remain with the team. "Ron and Brissette will work with Cerny to make sure everything gets done," Herbert said.
Herbert, currently eighth in NHRA POWERade Series with 682 points, wants to get into the top five before the season concludes eight races from now.
"Our goal now is to finish in the top five," Herbert continued. "Our goal at the start of every season is to win the championship, but that's no longer possible. We think it is possible to get to fifth. We're less than five rounds behind Cory (McClenathan, fourth with 778 points)."
Herbert is only three points shy of sixth place John Smith and 31 behind No. 6 David Baca (731).
The Cherryville, N.C., driver returned from the annual "western swing" - races at Denver, Seattle, and Sonoma, Calif., on successive weekends - without a round win at any of those races.
Herbert hasn't advanced past the quarterfinal round in eight previous visits to the Brainerd race track, a statistic he'd like to improve when Lucas Oil Nationals qualifying begins Friday, Aug. 15. Sessions are scheduled at 3:30 and 6:30 p.m. Friday, 1 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations Sunday begin at 11 a.m.