St Louis Doug Herbert Story

HERBERT GAINS A FEW POINTS ON MIKE DUNN DESPITE LOSING IN FIRST ROUND AT GATEWAY RACEWAY MADISON, Ill. - Doug Herbert felt like many patrons who frequent the riverboat gambling establishment just a few miles from Gateway International...

HERBERT GAINS A FEW POINTS ON MIKE DUNN DESPITE LOSING IN FIRST ROUND AT GATEWAY RACEWAY

MADISON, Ill. - Doug Herbert felt like many patrons who frequent the riverboat gambling establishment just a few miles from Gateway International Raceway - he came up a little short in his first round match against Kenny Bernstein in the rain-delayed Sears Craftsman Nationals Saturday night.

The setback left Herbert disappointed, primarily because Mike Dunn, the NHRA Winston Series Top Fuel leader, also was eliminated in the first round. "We could've picked up some points," said Herbert after his Snap-on Racing dragster lost the close encounter, 4.697 seconds at 308.85 mph to Bernstein's 4.669 at 307.51.

"It's bad to lose in the first round, especially when we are in the points race," added Herbert. "The bottom line is you can't afford to lose in the first round and be a title contender." This was only the third time in 11 races that Herbert has gone out in the opening round. He has won twice and finished second twice.

Herbert came to Gateway Raceway - located across the Mississippi River from St. Louis - trailing Dunn by 61 points, 751 to 690. He left just 59 points in arrears, 782-723. But third-place Bernstein pulled within eight points of Herbert and Gary Scelzi won his third race of the year and it now just 32 points out of second place with 691.

"I made a mistake (against Bernstein)," said Herbert, from Cherryville, N.C. "Our Snap-on dragster was running good. We just missed it a little. We're still in good shape as far as points go, but it was disappointing to lose like that."

Herbert qualified seventh with a 4.636-second time, registered on his final qualifying session under the lights. He had been 14th prior to the run.

The next event is the non-points Winston Showdown, July 8-10, at the new Bristol Dragway. The race will have Top Fuel drivers racing Funny Car drivers for the first time, with the eventual winner taking home $200,000.

Qualified: No. 7, 4.636 seconds at 289.76 mph. First round: Kenny Bernstein def. Herbert.

Pro Winners: Top Fuel, Gary Scelzi; John Force, Funny Car; Jim Yates, Pro Stock, .

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Mike Dunn , John Force , Gary Scelzi