Indianapolis: Doug Herbert eliminations summary

Herbert pleased despite quarterfinal finish at U.S. Nationals. CLERMONT, Ind., Sept. 2, 2002 - All-in-all, Doug Herbert had one of his best U.S. Nationals in recent years. The Snap-on Racing Top Fuel driver registered his career-best qualifying...

Herbert pleased despite quarterfinal finish at U.S. Nationals.

CLERMONT, Ind., Sept. 2, 2002 - All-in-all, Doug Herbert had one of his best U.S. Nationals in recent years. The Snap-on Racing Top Fuel driver registered his career-best qualifying position at Indianapolis Raceway Park and then advanced to the quarterfinals before losing to eventual runner-up Larry Dixon.

"I wanted to win the race, but we had a good weekend," said Herbert, who qualified sixth with a 4.616-second, 319.29-mph run, his quickest elapsed time of the year. "We were running competitive times."

Hot, sunny weather gave tuners headaches throughout the five qualifying sessions and continued into Monday's eliminations.

Herbert had competitive runs in the heat on Sunday, notching a 4.726 and a 4.934. The latter time wasn't indicative of what it could've been. "I had to shut it off past half-track because my helmet strap broke and turned my helmet around and I couldn't see," Herbert noted. "That was the first time that has happened to me."

Crew chief Johnny West dialed in a 4.677 second, 317.79-mph performance for Herbert's first round victory over Rhonda Hartman-Smith. The dragster spun the tires in the quarterfinal against Dixon and Herbert was eliminated, 4.656 at 321.35 to 4.809 at 284.62.

"The car wasn't ready for that run and I wasn't ready for that run," Herbert said, talking about his .533 reaction time to Dixon's .472. "I just guessed wrong and got beat. Johnny's still learning about the tune-up and we continue to make progress."

Herbert, who remained seventh in NHRA POWERade standings with 922 points, had not won a round of racing at the U.S. Nationals, the oldest, most prestigious race on the 23-event circuit, since 1993, when he finished second.

The next race, the Lucas Oil Keystone Nationals, takes place Sept. 13-15 at Reading, Pa.

Qualified: No. 6, 4.616 at 319.29 mph; First round: Herbert, 4.677 at 317.79 def. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.983 at 290.38; Quarterfinals: Larry Dixon, 4.656 at 321.35 def. Herbert.

Pro Winners: Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel; John Force, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock

-sr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , John Force , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher