Doug Herbert has hired the talented crew chief Wayne Dupuy to tune the Snap-on Tools Top Fuel dragster.
Dupuy and former team owner Joe Amato parted ways in an amicable decision Sunday night. Herbert didn`t waste time in contacting Dupuy and adding him to the Snap-on team. Dupuy had been working with the Herbert group as part of a tuning alliance between the dragsters driven by Herbert and Morgan Lucas.
“We`ve already been working with Wayne as part of the deal we had with Joe Amato and when I found out he was planning on leaving to go work with another team I did everything I could to convince him to work with me,” Herbert said. “Wayne has been part of the major changes we have made to the car this year and he`s familiar with the team and the car and I think it will be a real smooth transition.
“I have liked Wayne`s approach at running a car for some time and for whatever reason he was leaving the Amato team. I wanted him to work with us and I`m thrilled he agreed to tune my car.”
Dupuy said he wanted to team up with someone who has an equally strong passion for racing.
“I felt like this was my best move for the future because Doug already has my type of setup on the car and he has a beautiful shop in Charlotte and he`s heavily invested in the sport of drag racing,” Dupuy said.
“Doug is young and eager and is in this for the long haul. Doug wants to win just as badly as I do and that played a big role in my decision to join the team.”
With all the right equipment, a great shop that is less than a year old and a crew willing to work hard, Dupuy said he`s already excited about the second half of the season.
“Doug is the kind of guy who will give me a little rope and let me lead the team up the point standings,” Dupuy said. “There is a lot of racing left this season and we can move straight up the ladder with a little luck and a couple of wins. The sky really is the limit right now.
“This also works out well because I am going to be reunited with Chris Nachtmann, who is working in Doug`s engine shop. I wanted to work with him in developing some in-house equipment that will make this team more competitive on a regular basis. Chris is a great guy to work with. He builds a lot of great parts and when I heard Doug added him to the team at the beginning of the season, I was impressed with that move.”
Rob Flynn was asked to step down from the crew chief position, a move Herbert was hesitant to make.
“I really like Rob Flynn and I hope he bounces back with another team real soon,” Herbert said.
“This is a performance-based deal and the timing wasn`t perfect, I will agree, but I didn`t want to miss out on a great opportunity. I don`t think either Rob or myself was happy with the performance of the car and I think Rob just got caught in the middle of this deal because of timing.”
Dupuy brings years, if not a lifetime, of tuning experience with him.
The son of retired NHRA Director of Competition Lynwood Dupuy, Wayne has been involved with drag racing as a driver, crewmember and lead tuner for more than 25 years.
He spent time bracket racing Top Sportsman Motorcycles before he opted to make a living as a crew chief. Dupuy worked on Top Alcohol cars before making the move to Top Fuel.
Dupuy worked as a crewmember for legends such as Connie Kalitta and Gene Snow before he was soon promoted to crew chief. He has tuned drivers K.C. Spurlock, Cory McClenathan, Phil Burkart Jr., Todd Paton, Jim Epler, Cristen Powell, Johnny Gray and the late Darrell Russell before joining forces with Lucas.
Herbert hopes the relationship will turn into longer days on Sundays soon.
“Wayne has a passion for drag racing,” Herbert said. “He loves drag racing and he wants to go fast. Wayne and I have similar thoughts about a race car and we both fix things by working real hard. I think this is going to be a great move.”
by Special to the LTN