Herbert ready for SuperNationals ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., May 9, 2003 - It's an axiom that's proven every year as drivers compete for POWERade Series championships. Keeping first-round losses to a minimum enhances ones chances of placing higher in...
Herbert ready for SuperNationals
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J., May 9, 2003 - It's an axiom that's proven every year as drivers compete for POWERade Series championships. Keeping first-round losses to a minimum enhances ones chances of placing higher in the final standings. Herbert is determined to write a successful finish to this 2003 Top Fuel season.
While it does include winning the championship, his feelings will be assuaged if he winds up among the top five. That would be the Cherryville, N.C., driver's best finish in 10 seasons of fulltime NHRA competition.
He has been seventh in three of the last four years, including 2001 and 2002, but yearns to be better.
And the showing thus far from his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team indicates he may be able to reach his goal. He's currently fourth in points with 394 and trails third-place Doug Kalitta by 66 points, or three rounds of racing. Larry Dixon is the leader with 630 and Brandon Bernstein is second at 595 while each has already won three times.
"We are getting our tune-up figured out to where we should be able to win any race at any given time," said Herbert. "Our engine is running a lot better. We are working together better. We are going in the right direction."
With three races in three weeks looming, beginning with the K&N Filters SuperNationals, May 16-18, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, Herbert's team would like that direction to be up, as in the standings.
"Compared to last year, our performance is like night and day," he added. "We went to the finals at Atlanta last year but we just backed into it. This year at Atlanta we ran really well but, unfortunately, not at the right time."
Herbert's car posted a time of 4.617 seconds at 316.97 mph but lost to Darrell Russell's 4.597 at 320.13. Russell's time was quickest of the first round and Herbert's was third best, but it didn't matter. It was only his second opening-round setback this season
"Realistically, we are a top five car and at this particular point we probably aren't ready to beat Dixon or Bernstein day in and day out, although if we'd raced them in the first round at Atlanta we would've beaten either one of them," Herbert said. "We just want to keep improving at each race. We're definitely going in the right direction. Everything is coming together. But nothing ever happens as quickly as you want."
Herbert's best SuperNationals showing was a runner-up in 1999.
Qualifying at Englishtown is set for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:30 and 4 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations begin Sunday at 11 a.m.