Herbert, West, Snap-On Top Fuel Team eagerly await beginning of preseason testing CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Jan. 16, 2002 - Doug Herbert celebrated Christmas a little earlier than most people and it's taken him several weeks to be able to enjoy his...
Herbert, West, Snap-On Top Fuel Team eagerly await beginning of preseason testing
CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Jan. 16, 2002 - Doug Herbert celebrated Christmas a little earlier than most people and it's taken him several weeks to be able to enjoy his best gift.
Herbert hired Johnny West as tuner and co-crew chief on his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster in November and he has been waiting patiently for preseason testing to go for a ride.
"I'm very excited, more than I have been in a long time. I can't wait to get in the car," said Herbert, who plans to begin testing Friday at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Herbert won once and finished seventh in NHRA's 2001 standings.
"Johnny brings the commitment and experience we need to be a race contender week in and week out. The important thing is he wants to be consistent," said Herbert, who owns and operates Cherryville-based Doug Herbert Performance Parts. "He's dedicated. The week after (last) season ended, Johnny was in my shop working on my car. He has the same goals we all do - run consistently and win championships.
"We lacked consistency last year. If we'd been able to run on race day like we ran in qualifying, we could've won more races," added Herbert.
West, who was assistant crew chief for Top Fuel champion Kenny Bernstein last year, wants to get the new campaign off on a good note, but he vows not to rush anything.
"We won't go past half-track during the first few days," West commented. "I want to see what the car does on those runs. That will tell me a lot about the tune-up. You want to be able to catch any problems in advance, so we're going to take it one step at a time.
"I'm looking forward to the season," he continued. "We have a good group of people. I feel real good about it."
The Snap-on team plans to test Friday through Sunday at Firebird Raceway, then continue preseason runs at Southwestern International Raceway in Tucson Jan. 24-27. The 2002 NHRA Powerade Drag Racing Series gets underway at Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10.