Englishtown: Doug Herbert preview

HERBERT CONTINUES TO WOW SNAP-ON AT THE TRACK AND IN THE AIR LINCOLNTON, N.C. (June 16, 2005) -- When Doug Herbert prepares to leave his Herbert Performance Parts business for an NHRA POWERade drag racing event, he has more on his mind than...

HERBERT CONTINUES TO WOW SNAP-ON AT THE TRACK AND IN THE AIR

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (June 16, 2005) -- When Doug Herbert prepares to leave his Herbert Performance Parts business for an NHRA POWERade drag racing event, he has more on his mind than just his Snap-on Tools dragster. Herbert also has to prepare to play host to a winner.

In nearly each of the 20 major markets that hold NHRA POWERade events, there is a Snap-on dealer hustling to win the ultimate prize: "Dinner with Doug." It's not just any dinner. Herbert picks the winner up at the local airport and flies the Snap-on dealer who won the contest to a location with a dazzling dinner reservation awaiting the party.

Just before the national event in Houston Herbert took the winning dealer to New Orleans to visit the original Ruth Chris Steakhouse. Before an exhibition race in Englishtown, N.J., Herbert took two groups out: one to Ocean City, Maryland and the other to Lake Placid, New York.

Tony Garzia is the winner this weekend and he can't wait to meet Herbert at the airport on Saturday night. Grazia won a sales contest that included a Herbert-themed race tool package.

"I think it's great that he goes out of his way to meet so many Snap-on employees and customers," Grazia said. "He's got a great attitude. He's so down to earth and at the same time, he's full of fire.

"My wife can't go to the races this weekend, so I'm taking my son. The last time I did that we went to Bristol Dragway and Doug let my son in the car and took photos. It was great. He's unlike most celebrities. He's approachable, not untouchable like the guys in football, baseball and even other drivers."

Herbert has been entertaining Snap-on and its dealers since 1992 when they helped Herbert's team with tools. It has since blossomed into a primary sponsorship. He knows every dollar is important and keeping everyone at Snap-on happy is his most important goal.

"You have to make sure you give them more than they expect," Herbert said. "If you can do that, everyone is happy. We do everything we can to make sure Snap-on is always happy and involved with what we do at the track. My team has had Snap-on as a sponsor since 1992 and I know they expect me to go to all of the races and run the car. Period. I do that plus a million other things to keep them satisfied.

"We take a number of Snap-on people to dinner throughout the year and we always have a great time. Going out of the way to meet a bunch of Snap-on dealers and employees makes the relationship strong. And, it's fun for me because we get to meet a lot of good people along the way."

Herbert has even gone as far as joining the dealers for a day of work. Just two weeks ago Herbert joined Ricky Sculco in New York for a ride in the tool truck.

"We had a blast, meeting the customers, selling tools and talking about racing," Herbert said. "Throughout the year we meet a lot of Snap-on people and that's one of the reasons I liked racing from the beginning. The people in and around racing all have a passion for something and it makes the long hours and travel all over the country for a 300-mph Top Fuel ride a lot more exciting."

The NHRA POWERade Series starts pro qualifying with sessions on Friday at 4 and 6:30 p.m. Qualifying continues Saturday at 11 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. before final eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

ESPN and ESPN2 will air coverage of this weekend's event starting with qualifying at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Final eliminations can be seen on ESPN at 4 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. NHRA 2Day starts at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday on ESPN2.

-gs-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert