Johnny West Joins Snap-On Top Fuel Team As Co-Crew Chief; Herbert Excited About 2002 Season CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Nov. 16, 2001 - His goal has always been to win the NHRA Top Fuel championship, and that isn't going to change when the 2002 season ...
Johnny West Joins Snap-On Top Fuel Team As Co-Crew Chief; Herbert Excited About 2002 Season
CHERRYVILLE, N.C., Nov. 16, 2001 - His goal has always been to win the NHRA Top Fuel championship, and that isn't going to change when the 2002 season begins in February.
Doug Herbert now believes he'll have an excellent opportunity to do just that because Johnny West has been added to the team as a co-crew chief with Larry Frazier and his Snap-on Racing dragster showed plenty of potential this year.
West, 47, is a tuner/crew chief/assistant crew chief who spent the last two seasons as assistant crew chief for Top Fuel driver Kenny Bernstein, the 2001 Top Fuel champion. West will tune Herbert's dragster and work with Frazier and the race team.
"Johnny brings the commitment and experience we need to be a race contender week in and week out," said Herbert, who owns and operates Cherryville-based Doug Herbert Performance Parts. "We lacked consistency this year. If we'd been able to run on race day like we ran in qualifying, we could've won more races."
West's tuning approach has always been about consistency, dating back to the days when he owned and tuned his own Funny Cars. "Making a car run consistently has always been my biggest goal," he said. "Doug already has a good team. It doesn't need much at all. The ingredients are there. It shouldn't take much for us to be contenders at every race.
"I've always had more fun helping to run the racecars," continued West, who is from Phoenix. "Working on the car and making it run . . . that's how I get my fulfillment."
Frazier, who will oversee the team's day-to-day operations, has been with Herbert since 1999 and has been in drag racing for 40 years, serving as a team owner, crew chief, team manager and tuner along the way.
Herbert equaled his best Winston Series finish (seventh) this season, won the NHRA's 50th Anniversary Nationals at Pomona, Calif., in July, and set personal bests for elapsed time and speed, 4.542 seconds at 325.69 mph, at the September race at Joliet, Ill. He qualified second twice and among the top eight 16 times. He even ran well while losing, posting runner-up times of 4.595 seconds at Seattle and 4.599 seconds at the June race at Joliet.
"Johnny pays attention to details and gets the car tuned right," commented Herbert. "He likes working on the car and making it run. All of us on the Snap-on team are looking forward to the new season."
The Winternationals starts the 23-race schedule at Pomona, Calif., Feb. 7-10.