Snap-On Racing Report Herbert Eyes $100,000 Bud Shootout Payday, Finishing Season With Auto Club Finals Top Fuel Win POMONA, Calif., Nov. 2, 2001 - There are a couple things remaining on Doug Herbert's 2001 NHRA Winston Series agenda that he'd...
Snap-On Racing Report
Herbert Eyes $100,000 Bud Shootout Payday, Finishing Season With Auto Club Finals Top Fuel Win
POMONA, Calif., Nov. 2, 2001 - There are a couple things remaining on Doug Herbert's 2001 NHRA Winston Series agenda that he'd like to rectify before the final curtain drops on Sunday, Nov. 11.
"We have a chance to win a hundred grand on Saturday," he said of the annual Budweiser Top Fuel Shootout scheduled Nov. 10 during the last day of qualifying for the Auto Club Finals at Pomona Raceway. "I'm sure ready. That would be a great way close the season."
The Snap-on Racing dragster driver will be one of eight competing for the $100,000 top prize in the Shootout. Drivers earned qualifying points at the first 23 races and the elite eight will take center stage in the event that is contested during Finals qualifying.
Sunday, Herbert will be seeking his second series win in as many visits to the venerable Pomona racing facility. He plucked the top prize in the NHRA's 50th Anniversary race here in July, beating Gary Scelzi in the nighttime finale. And he wants to maintain his advantage over Tony Schumacher in his bid for a seventh-place finish. Herbert has a 49-point advantage (1171-1120) going into the event.
"That will equal my best top 10 finish," noted Herbert. "I was seventh in 1999, too. At least I know we have a tune-up that can win at Pomona. We just haven't had much good luck this year. Maybe we can collect some of it at the Finals. A win would make the winter go a lot quicker.
"We should be in good shape going into this race," he added. "We were chasing a problem at Las Vegas (Oct. 26-28) and I don't think we found it until race day. The car just wasn't running well. It wasn't any big thing, just few little things, but the best we could do was qualify 15th."
It was Herbert's lowest starting berth of the year and he was eliminated in the first round by eventual race runner-up Kenny Bernstein. "That's what happens when you qualify down that far. You have to race the No. 2 qualifier in the first round," Herbert said. "I'm convinced that whatever was biting us was fixed by the time first round came around. The car reacted like it should and was running good against Bernstein until it smoked the tires."
Herbert will square off against Mike Dunn in the opening round of Saturday's Shootout. Herbert was sixth overall and Dunn was third.
Other first-round pairings: Bernstein vs. Darrell Russell, Scelzi vs. Doug Kalitta and Larry Dixon vs. Schumacher. The semifinal pairings will be Herbert-Dunn vs. Dixon-Schumacher winners and Bernstein-Russell vs. Scelzi-Kalitta winners.
This is Herbert's third appearance in the annual event. He lost in the first round last year and in 1992.
Auto Club Finals qualifying gets underway Nov. 8.