Doug Herbert Beats Tony Schumacher, Ends 26-month NHRA Win Drought JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 3, 2004 - Doug Herbert picked a perfect time for his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster to run career bests in elapsed time and speed. It came in the...
Doug Herbert Beats Tony Schumacher, Ends 26-month NHRA Win Drought
JOLIET, Ill., Oct. 3, 2004 - Doug Herbert picked a perfect time for his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster to run career bests in elapsed time and speed. It came in the championship round of Sunday's CarQuest Nationals at Route 66 Raceway, ended Herbert's 26-month victory dry spell, and came two days before his 37th birthday.
Herbert upset current NHRA POWERade Series point leader Tony Schumacher in the final round - out-running the driver who was seeking his ninth victory of the 2004 season. This was Herbert's race all the way. He left the starting line first with a reaction time of .087 seconds to Schumacher's .102 and never looked back. His 4.516-second time at 329.75 mph was quicker and faster than his rival's 4.527 at 329.18.
"This was a great win for our team, Ed McCulloch, our tuner, Jim Brissette, the tuning consultant, all the crew, plus a lot of Snap-on fans who were here from Kenosha, Wis., cheering us on," said Herbert. "I told McCulloch before the run that this reminded me of our race in the finals at Indianapolis in 1992. He dug down deep inside and ran quick and fast to beat us. I said that's what we have to do. I have to run not the best race of the day, but the best race of my life. And that's what we did."
The win was his eighth in 17 final rounds. His last win came at Sonoma, Calif., in 2002.
"We couldn't have picked a better time to run our best speed and elapsed time," added Herbert, of Lincolnton, N.C. "I can't say enough about our team. Our guys are dedicated. We are really on the right track now."
Herbert dispatched Brady Kalivoda, John Smith and Bob Vandergriff Jr. to get to the finals. He was consistent, running 4.567, 4.597, 4.627 and 4.516 seconds, on a perfect day for racing - cool and sunny with excellent track conditions.
"We expected Schumacher to run just about what he ran and we knew we were going to have to run really good," Herbert said. "We've been racing against Schumacher's tuner, Alan Johnson for a long time and he's one tough dude, and Tony does a good job driving the car. They are leading the points for a reason . . . because they are the best."
"We threw everything we had into the tune-up for the final round," said McCulloch, who joined Herbert's team this year. "It was either going to run real good or smoke the tires. Fortunately for us, it ran real good."