Herbert ready to battle for final points position POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2005) -- This is a first for the veteran Top Fuel driver. When Doug Herbert pulls up to the starting line Sunday morning for the first round of final eliminations at the...
Herbert ready to battle for final points position
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 5, 2005) -- This is a first for the veteran Top Fuel driver. When Doug Herbert pulls up to the starting line Sunday morning for the first round of final eliminations at the 41st annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona Raceway, it will have new meaning.
This time, points are on the line too.
Normally, when Herbert puts on his game face and prepares to battle for each round win, he knows the race victory and trophy are on the line. Winning the race will be on his mind too, but there is also the final point standings to worry about.
Going into the NHRA POWERade season finale, Herbert is fifth in Top Fuel points. If he wins the first round matchup against Morgan Lucas, he might just stay there, if not bump up to fourth place. Lucas is sixth in the point standings, just 17 points behind Herbert.
"I've never had a points position on the line going into the final race of the season," Herbert said. "I've never had one round that was so important, one round that would decide our final point standings. If we win the first round, we're going to be at least fifth in the final standings and that's higher than I have ever finished. If we don't win, we won't finish any better than sixth.
"So we have to win first round and I know I'm not the only person on the team who agrees with me. I'm excited, I'm ready and so is Wayne (Dupuy, crew chief). It's going to be a great battle."
Herbert -- who has finished a career-best seventh in the final standings three times -- qualified 10th for the season finale, driving the Snap-on Tools dragster to a 4.503-second pass at 321.19 mph. Lucas qualified seventh. The two drivers have faced each other five times this season with Herbert holding the 3-2 edge.
Lucas' crew chief is Jim Dupuy, brother of Wayne Dupuy.
"I can guarantee the Dupuy brothers won't be sharing tuneup stories tonight," Herbert said. "It's actually a fun rivalry between the brothers. They both want to do well, so it will push them to do even better. I know Wayne is going to be ready. It's an important first round matchup and both teams know what's on the line."
Final eliminations will start at 11 a.m. Sunday.
All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting with the qualifying at 10 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. NHRA 2Day will air at 11:30 a.m. (ET) on Sunday followed by the eliminations at 7 p.m. (ET) that evening.