TOPEKA, Kan.â€” Doug Herbert and the Snap-on Racing Top Fuel team accomplished several important things during Sunday`s Summer Nationals at Heartland Park.
They went three round during eliminations, losing to eventual race winner Brandon Bernstein in the semifinals; they qualified in the top half of the field again; and, perhaps most important, climbed back into the POWERade Series top 10, holding the No. 9 position with 14 events remaining.
The facts: Herbert bounced David Baca in the opening round and took advantage of good luck in the next round when rival Bob Vandergriff Jr. fouled out. Brandon Bernstein, who went on to beat Doug Kalitta in the finals and take the series point lead, ended Herbert`s afternoon in the semifinals . . . Herbert had back-to-back qualifying runs of 4.602 and 4.625 seconds and started sixth . . . The heat and humidity was the worst it`s been all year, slowing elapsed times accordingly, but the weather cooled off Sunday.
Herbert quotes: We dropped a cylinder in the first round and spun the tires and that slowed us a little . . . It was good to be able to win some rounds and get back into the top 10. Heck, we`re only three rounds behind Scott Kalitta (466 points) and he`s sixth . . . We have a match race scheduled next weekend in Englishtown, N.J., and we plan to use that as a test session so we can get the motor tuned up to go racing again at Columbus (Ohio, June 11-13).
The statistics: Qualified: No. 6, 4.602 seconds at 311.56 mph. Eliminations: Round 1, Herbert, 4.678 at 302.82 def. David Baca, 11.244 at 91.02; Round 2, Herbert, 6.322 at 143.25 def. Bob Vandergriff Jr., foul; Round 3, Brandon Bernstein, 4.555 at 327.66 def. Herbert, 6.388 at 146.57
Pontiac Excitement Nationals, June 11-13, Columbus, Ohio
Top Fuel: Brandon Bernstein
Funny Car: Whit Bazemore
Pro Stock: Greg Anderson
Top Fuel Standings:
1. Brandon Bernstein, 760; 2. Tony Schumacher, 740; 3. Doug Kalitta, 676; 4. Cory McClenathan, 523; 5. David Grubnic, 502; 6. Scott Kalitta, 466; 7. Darrell Russell, 449; 8. Larry Dixon, 436; 9. Doug Herbert, 416; 10. Clay Millican, 398.