Norwalk: Doug Herbert final report

Herbert Brings Home Heart Warming Win NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) Doug Herbert, owner and driver of the SnaponFranchise.com Top Fuel dragster, left the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, with a heart warming ...

Herbert Brings Home Heart Warming Win

NORWALK, Ohio (June 29, 2008) Doug Herbert, owner and driver of the SnaponFranchise.com Top Fuel dragster, left the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio, with a heart warming victory.

Herbert qualified in the No. 5 position and faced Troy Buff in the opening round of eliminations. First off the line with a stellar reaction time (.077 of a second to Buff's .085), Herbert piloted the SnaponFranchise.com dragster to a solid 4.69 at 297.29 to Buff's 4.72 at 294.18.

The second round brought Herbert to the line against friend David Grubnic. Herbert defeated Grubnic with a holeshot victory. Herbert's quick reaction time (.053 of a second to Grubnic's .089) lead him to the finish line first and his 4.666 second pass defeated Grubnic's 4.662.

After a brief rain shower caused a delay in racing action, the semifinal round pitted Herbert against No. 1 qualifier Rod Fuller. Herbert, on a day destined for victory, was once again first off the line (.037 of a second to Fuller's .081). He drove the SnaponFranchise.com Top Fuel dragster into the finals with a solid 4.66 at 300.78 mph besting Fuller's 4.88 at 304.53 mph.

The final round brought Brandon Bernstein to the line on a day when Herbert could not be beaten. Once again, Herbert's excellent reaction time lead him to victory on a holeshot. He left the line in an astounding .018 of a second to Bernstein's .081, allowing his 4.63 second pass to cross the finish line before Bernstein's 4.61, ushering him and the SnaponFranchise.com team into winner's circle.

"I felt like a winner when I woke up today and we proved it," said the veteran driver. "I have my daughter Jessie here with me this weekend and it has been really great having her here, she is my good luck charm.

"I was just ready and wired in today. I had to dig down deep because this meant so much to me. I have high expectations for myself, and really wanted to make everyone proud.

"This team has been working so hard. We won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge, and that's just one example of how hard they work. Most of the guys on the team have won before, but this is the first time we have won together and it's a really great deal. Now we have started winning and we just plan to keep it up."

Herbert's first win since losing his sons Jon and James in a tragic automobile accident in January, this win is especially touching and comes at an important time for all of drag racing.

"We call this season the 'For My Boys' Tour, and today I really felt like I had Jon and James riding with me in the car.

"We lost one of our heroes last weekend when we lost Scott Kalitta, and I can't help but think that maybe he was up there with Jon and James pulling for us along with my old friend Billy Williams, whose wife Dianne was at the races today with us."

"We said at the beginning of the year we plan on winning the championship in their honor, and today we took one more step in that direction.

"I want to make Jon and James and Jessie proud of me, and today I'm sure they are."

-credit: dhr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Scott Kalitta , Brandon Bernstein , Rod Fuller , Troy Buff
Teams Williams