LAS VEGAS, qualifying: Doug Herbert qualified in the top half of the field for his second consecutive NHRA national event on Saturday in Las Vegas. The driver of the Snap-on Tools/Doug Herbert Performance Top Fuel dragster will enter Sunday's ...
LAS VEGAS, qualifying: Doug Herbert qualified in the top half of the field for his second consecutive NHRA national event on Saturday in Las Vegas. The driver of the Snap-on Tools/Doug Herbert Performance Top Fuel dragster will enter Sunday's eliminations from the No. 6 position after three strong runs during qualifying.
The weather was ideal for drag racing at Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the first round of Top Fuel qualifying began Friday afternoon. Herbert continued the consistent qualifying pace that the Snap-on Tools team established in Houston two weeks earlier. The 38-year-old North Carolinian streaked into the top half of the 16-car field in the No. 7 spot with a 4.639 at 318.02 mph. With a solid baseline tune-up to work with, crew chief Wayne Dupuy was eager to see how the Snap-on Tools dragster would perform during the cooler evening session. Herbert took full advantage of the conditions and moved up to the No. 5 position with a 4.571 at 320.97 mph.
Day two of qualifying at 'The Strip' featured picture perfect weather for the final pair of professional sessions. Herbert made another good lap on his third qualifying run in the Snap-on Tools dragster, recording a 4.647 at 317.12 mph to hold on to the No. 5 spot with one qualifying session remaining. 'Dougzilla' overpowered the race track on his final run as the team prepared their tune up for race day. With qualifying over, the 16-car field was set with Herbert in the No. 6 spot going into eliminations.
"The Snap-on Tools car is running well," said Herbert. "We're trying out some new stuff. Wayne (Dupuy) has the clutch changed around a little and the car seems to be very smooth. I think we've gotten rid of the shake problem that we developed with the new tires. I think we have a race car that can be very competitive tomorrow during eliminations."
Herbert wore a specially painted USAF Thunderbirds-themed helmet in Las Vegas. He will present the helmet to Thunderbird pilot, Major Rusty Keen, who took Herbert on a flight in an F-16 fighter jet last November. Keen, who was on hand in Vegas with wife Natalie, plans to donate the helmet to the Thunderbirds Museum at Nellis Air Force base, which is located across the street from Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Also joining the Snap-on team in the hospitality area on Saturday was Tech Sergeant Jeremy Curbey, a crew chief for the elite Air Force Thunderbird demonstration team.