Indianapolis: Herbert loses to Schumacher

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 4, 2000 - This was one Labor Day weekend outing Doug Herbert has no intention of recalling. Hot, humid conditions, the worst NHRA Winston Series competitors have seen this year, turned U.S. Nationals qualifying into a real...

INDIANAPOLIS, Sept. 4, 2000 - This was one Labor Day weekend outing Doug Herbert has no intention of recalling.

Hot, humid conditions, the worst NHRA Winston Series competitors have seen this year, turned U.S. Nationals qualifying into a real tuner's guessing game. The Indianapolis Raceway Park asphalt was very tricky.

"After we made two runs, we figured out what the track wanted," said Herbert of his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster. On the third qualifying run, Herbert registered his top run of the weekend, 4.755 seconds at 306.95 mph.

Unfortunately, Herbert didn't make a complete pass the rest of the way, including Monday's first-round match against Tony Schumacher, which was run under much more favorable conditions (cloudy and cool).

"I hit the gas and the engine dropped a cylinder," Herbert said. Schumacher, meanwhile, was on his was to a 4.673 at 309.27 and Herbert idled through with a 10.395 at 83.37. "It seems I've been saying this a lot lately, but we are still searching for consistent tune-ups. All-in-all, this was a weekend we want to forget."

Herbert and the Snap-on team don't have much time to wait before jumping back into competition. The Spring Supernationals, rained out last May, will be completed Friday and Saturday at Englishtown (N.J.) Raceway Park. Herbert qualified fifth with a 4.700 at 292.46.

He plans to take the two tune-up laps permitted Friday before Saturday's eliminations.

Qualified: No. 13, 4.755 at 306.95 mph.

First round: Tony Schumacher def. Herbert.

Pro Winners:
Top Fuel - Schumacher
Funny Car - Jim Epler
Pro Stock - Jeg Coughlin Jr.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Jeg Coughlin , Jim Epler , Tony Schumacher