Gainesville: Doug Herbert Friday summary

Herbert has No. 9 spot; looking to move up Saturday GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When one thinks about Florida, images of sandy beaches and clear, blue, sunny skies are likely to jump to mind. Those images didn't match reality on Friday, but Doug...

Herbert has No. 9 spot; looking to move up Saturday

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- When one thinks about Florida, images of sandy beaches and clear, blue, sunny skies are likely to jump to mind. Those images didn't match reality on Friday, but Doug Herbert is confident Saturday's qualifying sessions for the NHRA Gatornationals will be better.

"It was real cold today and we were running behind schedule all day, so it just got colder and colder as the day progressed," Herbert said. "That's OK, we got the Snap-on Tools dragster qualified and that's always the most important first step of every race weekend. We've heard it's going to be warmer on Saturday and that's something I'm looking forward to because the Gatornationals is such a fun race and it's time everyone is able to take off their winter coats and enjoy racing with warmer conditions."

Herbert drove the Snap-on Tools dragster to a 4.774-second pass at 225.67 mph to qualify ninth at Gainesville Raceway.

"The first run of the day was good, but we had a couple of hiccups at the end of the pass," Herbert said. "This team has worked so hard during the two weeks off (between Phoenix and Gainesville) and I know they will have the car ready to race on Saturday."

Herbert will have to play host before he can jump behind the wheel of the dragster. Herbert and Gainesville Sun reporter Norm Froscher have organized a tour for several local Marines who are home from overseas duty.

"I can't say enough about the great response we get from everyone about having the Marines come by the pits for a day of racing and fun," Herbert said. "We didn't think we would have the special guests this weekend, but with Norm's help, we've got a few Marines coming by and I can't wait to meet them."

Qualifying continues Saturday with pro sessions at 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m. Final eliminations are set for 11 a.m. on Sunday. ESPN2 will air coverage of qualifying on March 20 at 12:30 a.m. (ET) and final eliminations at 5 p.m. (ET).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert