Pomona II: Doug Herbert preview

Going out a Winner Doug Herbert's Objective at Auto Club Finals Snap-on Top Fuel Driver Could Move Up One Place in Points POMONA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2004 - "And now the end is near . . . ." Frank Sinatra sang it. So have many others. It applies...

Going out a Winner Doug Herbert's Objective at Auto Club Finals
Snap-on Top Fuel Driver Could Move Up One Place in Points

POMONA, Calif., Nov. 8, 2004 - "And now the end is near . . . ." Frank Sinatra sang it. So have many others. It applies to all of us at one time or another. This time, however, the reference is for the 2004 NHRA POWERade Series season.

The Auto Club Finals, Nov. 11-14, at Pomona Raceway, is the lone remaining event on what began as a 23-race schedule in February, also at this quarter-mile track.

Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster driver Doug Herbert doesn't mind the curtain dropping on Sunday night.

"This has been a good year for us because we won at Chicago (in October)," he said. "We've run consistently and have qualified for every race so far. Those are good points. At the same time, we weren't in the championship race very long, and that's something we'd like to correct for 2005.

"I'd say lets get this race over so we can concentrate on what we're going to do next year."

Herbert, who has finished in the top 10 six straight years, sits in eighth place (1067 points) and could possibly supplant No. 7 Cory McClenathan with a good Finals showing. McClenathan leads by 33 points and would need to lose early to help Herbert's climb. Herbert would then need to reach the at least the semifinals.

The Lincolnton, N.C.-based driver also improved his career bests in time (4.516 seconds) and speed (329.75 mph) en route to defeating 2004 champion Tony Schumacher in the Chicago finals. It provided an impressive victory for Herbert, his first since August 2002.

"That win was definitely the highlight of the season," he commented. "It came at a perfect time for us because we needed a spark and it came the day before the team had a car display scheduled at Snap-on's headquarters in Kenosha, Wis.

"On the business side, my company, Herbert Performance, moved into a new, 100,000 square-foot building in Lincolnton, N.C. It really increased the size of my parts business and the race shop," he added.

Herbert also will be driving a DougZilla-themed dragster here, the last of 11 featuring localized paint schemes.

The DougZilla legend has grown from a starting-line discussion at Reading, Pa., in 2002 into a drag racing cult figure. Herbert's souvenir trailer sells popular DougZilla t-shirts and hats and Herbert continues to donate proceeds from those sales to an ongoing fund raiser for former Southern California racer Billy Williams, a longtime friend who was seriously injured in a drag racing accident two years ago. The money is to help defray his continuing medical expenses.

This year, for the first time, DougZilla has been featured on the dragster itself in selected cities.

"The fans really liked the DougZilla caricature so we thought we'd dress him up and take him on the road this year," said Herbert. "We have a little bit of a local twist for each of the paint schemes at the different race tracks. DougZilla was hanging around the Gateway Arch in St. Louis and a winery in Sonoma, Calif. Fans have liked our city-specific cars. They seem to take pride in the fact their area is pictured on the race car."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Tony Schumacher
Teams Williams