BRAINERD, Minn.â€” Doug Herbert beat two drivers who have been tough to defeat, advanced to the semifinals and moved up a position in points Sunday in the Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway.
Herbert`s Snap-on Racing Top Fuel dragster knocked out Larry Dixon in the first round and Doug Kalitta in the quarterfinals before coming up a little short against David Grubnic in the semis.
The facts: After qualifying ninth, Herbert started his run against Dixon, the two-time defending POWERade Series champion who had dominated their head-to-head competition prior to 2004. Herbert`s 4.878-second, 285.17-mph run on the tricky BIR track was enough to bounce Dixon`s traction-troubled 5.973 at 149.25 . . . Then Herbert came back with a 4.756 at 304.74 to eliminate Doug Kalitta, whom he hadn`t beaten in two years. Kalitta was the race`s No. 1 qualifier . . . Grubnic, however, ended Herbert`s final-round hopes with a 4.671 at 309.27 to a 4.806 at 270.00 . . . Herbert is eighth with 749 points while seventh-place Cory McClenathan has 856.
It was an excellent weekend. We were happy to get to the semifinals, but we wish we`d had a little more so we could`ve reached the finals . . . It was good to beat the guys who have been beating us lately . . . We want to build some momentum. We`ll be ready to go Friday at Memphis (site of the Mid-South Nationals, August 20-22).
The statistics: Qualified: No. 9, 4.649 seconds at 314.02 mph. Eliminations: Round 1, Herbert, 4.878 at 285.17 def. Larry Dixon, 5.973 at 149.25; Round 2, Herbert, 4.756 at 304.74 def. Doug Kalitta, 4.824 a 277.72; Round 3, David Grubnic, 4.671 at 309.27 def. Herbert, 4.806 at 270.00.
O`Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Memphis, Aug. 20-22
Top Fuel: Tony Schumacher
Funny Car: Eric Medlen
Pro Stock: Dave Connolly
Top Fuel Top 10:
1, Tony Schumacher, 1327; 2, Doug Kalitta, 1205; 3, Brandon Bernstein, 1152; 4, David Grubnic, 1003; 5, Scott Kalitta, 930; 6, Larry Dixon, 893; 7, Cory McClenathan, 856; 8, Doug Herbert, 749; 9, Darrell Russell; 10, Scott Weis, 606