POMONA, Calif., Nov. 3, 2003 - And now, the end is near . . . and Doug Herbert, for one, says, "Bring it on!" "There have been times lately when I wondered if it would ever get here," said the Snap-on Racing Top Fuel driver from Cherryville, N.C.
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 3, 2003 - And now, the end is near . . . and Doug Herbert, for one, says, "Bring it on!"
"There have been times lately when I wondered if it would ever get here," said the Snap-on Racing Top Fuel driver from Cherryville, N.C. One doesn't have to be a psychology major to figure out why Herbert's in a hurry to bid adieu to the 2003 NHRA POWERade Series season.
"This has been a frustrating year for us," Herbert added. "We had the potential to be in the top five cars but we definitely haven't run like one. It's here; we just haven't found it."
Optimistically, Herbert would love to put a positive conclusion to an otherwise uninspiring campaign with a win at the Auto Club Finals, Nov. 6-9, at Pomona Raceway. He also has a chance to collect a $100,000 check in the annual Budweiser Top Fuel Shootout on Saturday, Nov. 8.
"We haven't been able to find what we're looking for as far as consistent performances go," Herbert said, "but I hope we find it before we run Doug Kalitta (in the Shootout's opening round).
The Shootout features the eight Top Fuel drivers who accumulated the most qualifying points at the season's first 22 races. Joining Herbert in the field are Kalitta, Larry Dixon, Tony Schumacher, Cory McClenathan, Darrell Russell, David Baca and John Smith.
Other first-round pairings are: Dixon vs. Smith, Schumacher vs. Baca, and McClenathan vs. Russell. The semifinals will feature the Herbert-Kalitta winner vs. McClenathan-Russell winner; Dixon-Smith winner vs. Baca-Schumacher winner. The first round begins at noon.
Herbert enters the Finals in ninth place with 881 points and trails No. 8 John Smith by 47 points.
"We need to work on the car and tune-up and we'll have about three months to do that between now and the Winternationals (Feb. 19-22, also at Pomona)," said Herbert. "This just has been one of those years you want to put behind you. Way behind you; and we will."
Auto Club Finals qualifying is scheduled at 3 p.m. Thursday and Friday, 12:15 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations commence at 11 a.m. Sunday.