Sonoma: Doug Herbert preview

Herbert looking to strike up a win on Western Swing Final Stop: Sonoma LINCOLNTON, N.C. (July 27, 2005) --Doug Herbert has a simple explanation as to why the Western Swing -- the three summer stops in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. -- mean...

Herbert looking to strike up a win on Western Swing
Final Stop: Sonoma

LINCOLNTON, N.C. (July 27, 2005) --Doug Herbert has a simple explanation as to why the Western Swing -- the three summer stops in Denver, Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. -- mean so much to all of the racers.

The Western Swing was first. The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing schedule now features four times throughout the season when racers compete on three consecutive weekends across the nation. But there was a time when there was just one three-race swing.

"The Western Swing was the first three-race swing so it just means more because it was the first big challenge of the schedule and it has been around for a while," Herbert said. "It's a lot of fun coming out to the Western part of the United States and it's always nice finishing a block of races in the wine country of Northern California."

Herbert and the Snap-on Tools team will be fighting for the last Wally of the Western Swing as the 18th annual FRAM-Autolite NHRA Nationals kicks off Friday at Infineon Raceway.

Herbert snagged the Top Fuel victory at this track in 2002 and now he's aiming to make a return to winner's circle with his new crew chief, Wayne Dupuy.

"Wayne has earned a win at Denver and Seattle before, and I've taken a trophy in Sonoma," Herbert said. "Now it's time to get a win together. The more time he spends with this team, the more I am convinced he can make it happen."

If the team can get the win this weekend, they will have plenty of people asking to join them in winner's circle. The Western Swing has history but it also has a large following for the Snap-on Tools team.

"All three of these races are packed with Snap-on dealers, customers and employees," Herbert said. "We have not come through for them yet on this swing, but when we do win, we're going to have a lot of happy people in the crowd."

The NHRA POWERade Series starts pro qualifying with sessions on Friday at 3:45 and 6:45 p.m. Qualifying continues Saturday at noon and 3 p.m. before final eliminations start at 11 a.m. Sunday.

ESPN2 will air coverage of this weekend's event starting with qualifying at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. NHRA 2Day starts at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, also on ESPN2.

-dhr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert