POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2000 - Doug Herbert would've preferred a Winternationals race victory Sunday, but he was nonetheless pleased with the quarterfinal appearance of his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster at Pomona Raceway in NHRA's ...
POMONA, Calif., Feb. 6, 2000 - Doug Herbert would've preferred a Winternationals race victory Sunday, but he was nonetheless pleased with the quarterfinal appearance of his Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster at Pomona Raceway in NHRA's season-opening event.
"We struggled here but without doing better than we did performance-wise, we had a good weekend," said Herbert. "We had a little bit of luck, too. But they say luck happens when preparation and opportunity come together. I think we learned a few things during the weekend . . . enough that we're going to test again at Phoenix (Firebird Raceway) Friday and Saturday."
Herbert, a four-time race winner last season, qualified eighth here with a 4.712-second, 299.66 mph run as the NHRA's new 90 percent fuel rule (limiting the amount of nitromethane fuel used) took effect. "(Crew chief Larry) Frazier and Dave Settles (the team's technology guru) need more runs to get comfortable with the new combination."
In Sunday's opening round, Herbert defeated Scott Kalitta in a tire-smoking battle. Both cars lost traction and the drivers pedaled the throttle. Herbert's dragster regained traction first and he crossed the finish line in 6.603 seconds at 177.84 mph.
Herbert was ready for top qualifier Joe Amato in the quarterfinals. He left the starting line with a .471 reaction to .531 to Amato. But the Snap-on dragster spun the tires hard and Amato pulled away, winning with a 4.657 at 316.23 mph.
"I left him at the starting line," Herbert noted, "but couldn't keep it up. It was good to get past the first round. We want to keep first-round losses at a minimum this year. The testing should help us get ready for the next NHRA race (Feb. 25-27) at Phoenix."
Herbert ended the day in seventh place with 53 points.
Qualified: No. 8, 4.712 seconds at 299.66 mph. First round: Herbert, 6.603 at 177.84 mph def. Scott Kalitta; Quarterfinal: Joe Amato def. Herbert.
Race winners: Gary Scelzi, Top Fuel; Jerry Toliver, Funny Car; Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock