Snap-On Racing Report: Herbert Will Try To Recapture 1999 Success In This Visit To Memphis Motorsports Park MEMPHIS, Sept. 17, 2001 - There must be something that keeps Doug Herbert returning to Memphis Motorsports Park besides its proximity to...
Snap-On Racing Report:
Herbert Will Try To Recapture 1999 Success In This Visit To Memphis Motorsports Park
MEMPHIS, Sept. 17, 2001 - There must be something that keeps Doug Herbert returning to Memphis Motorsports Park besides its proximity to Elvis Presley's Graceland.
It's not his success at the drag racing facility that hosts the AutoZone Nationals, Sept. 21-23. It might be the fact the track is approximately 650 miles from his Cherryville, N.C. shop, a relatively short hop when it comes to competing in the NHRA Winston Series.
In nine previous races in Memphis, Herbert has collected only five round wins - and four of those came in one race two years ago when he drove his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster to victory in a rain-plagued event.
"We need to figure out what we did in 1999 and do the same thing this time," said Herbert, who has one 2001 victory (NHRA's 50th Anniversary Nationals at Pomona, Calif.) and is seventh in points. "We'd like to win at least another race or two before the season ends and maybe move up a spot (in the standings), but we're running out of time.
"(Crew chief Larry) Frazier and I have learned a lot this year," he continued. "I wish we'd started running like this a lot earlier in the year. We be a lot better off (in the standings) if we had."
Herbert has qualified in the top eight at 13 of the first 18 events and moved from eighth to seventh place with a solid five-race performance that began in early July at Pomona. He won 10 rounds in that span without losing in the first round. That streak ended at the U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis (Sept. 3).
"The last time we lost in the first round we came back and won the next race," Herbert noted. "Our goal is to get on another roll like that one. One thing we know is the weather conditions will be changing and it will be getting cooler. I think with everything we've learned this year that we'll be able to make the car run fast on race day."
Herbert knows he'll need some cooperation from sixth-place Darrell Russell if he's to replace Russell, who has a 180-point lead (1145-965) with six races remaining.
This is the first of a revised three races in three weeks NHRA schedule. Last week's Keystone Nationals was postponed until Oct 5-7 and now becomes the last event in the string. Next up is the NHRA Nationals at Joliet, Ill., Sept. 28-30.
"Like I said," Herbert added, "we don't have a lot of time left to make our move. I know the Snap-on team will be working hard to make it happen."