LAS VEGAS, Oct. 23, 2001 - While Doug Herbert hasn't won as many races as he would've preferred, and he won't be the 2001 Top Fuel champion, he nonetheless thinks this has been a very good season. He did put his Snap-on Racing dragster into the...
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 23, 2001 - While Doug Herbert hasn't won as many races as he would've preferred, and he won't be the 2001 Top Fuel champion, he nonetheless thinks this has been a very good season.
He did put his Snap-on Racing dragster into the winner's circle at the NHRA's 50th Anniversary race and improved personal bests in elapsed time and speed. Now, with two races remaining, he has the same number of goals - win races and finish seventh in Winston Series competition.
His first opportunity comes at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway in the ACDelco Nationals, Friday through Sunday. And Herbert can't think of a more appropriate city to be looking for a little luck.
The good fortune Herbert is seeking doesn't include rolling dice or pulling handles. This is racing luck and it is something every driver wants. "We haven't been very lucky this year," Herbert said, noting that unexpected mechanical breakage has sidelined him too many times. "You need a little luck to compete in this sport."
The Cherryville, N.C., driver hopes to hit the jackpot this weekend while putting a lock on seventh place. He leads Tony Schumacher by 72 points (1140-1068) with eight rounds of racing remaining (four at The Strip, four at Pomona, Calif., Nov. 11). The 72 points is equivalent to four rounds, so Herbert knows the more rounds he wins, the more difficult it will be for Schumacher to catch him.
"Just winning rounds would be a step in the right direction," added Herbert. "We know where the nightlife and casinos are here, but we don't know where the winner's circle is . . . yet."
Herbert hasn't been lucky at The Strip. He won one round in the Summit Racing.com Nationals in April in the first stop of the season in Vegas. He qualified fifth and beat Tim Gibson before losing to Larry Dixon in the quarterfinals.
Herbert has finished in the Winston top 10 four times. He was seventh in 1999 and ninth in 1992-93 and 2000.
Last week at the Texas Motorplex in Ennis, Texas, Herbert beat Schumacher in the first round of eliminations to extend his lead.
Herbert's .441 reaction time, coupled with Schumacher's .531, put him in the lead and the Snap-on dragster was an easy winner with a 4.668 at 319.14 to a 4.759 at 316.90. -30-