When the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing tour reaches the mid-point of the season, teams are given the time to reflect on their past performance and focus on the remaining 11 races on the schedule.
Doug Herbert and his Snap-on Tools dragster team put the three-week break between races to good use and now it`s time to get back to the track.
The NHRA makes its way to Denver this weekend for the 26th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. It is the first of the three-race Western Swing. A stop in Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. complete the sweep â€“ a test Herbert and the Snap-on team is prepared for.
“The best part about the break is that the entire team was able to step back and look at what we have done as well as look at what needs to happen,” Herbert said.
“This was the first time (recently hired crew chief) Wayne Dupuy has been in the shop as our crew chief and he needed time to get a lot of things accomplished on the car.
“Wayne wanted to make a few more adjustments on the car and the team has worked real hard to make sure it`s all done. Now we`re ready to go win.”
Dupuy already has a win in Denver, taking home the honors with the late Darrell Russell in 2002.
Dupuy and Russell also won the next weekend at Pacific Raceways in Seattle and nearly had the sweep with a final round appearance at the third stop of the Western Swing. Who stopped them?
Herbert beat Russell in the final round at Infineon Raceway that year.
“Wayne has done well at all three races before, especially in the thin air at Bandimere Speedway,” Herbert said.
“This time off before the Western Swing has been so critical because he wanted to get caught up in the shop before we hit the road again. We have big plans for the rest of the season and it all starts this weekend.
“We want to win races and it all starts with having a consistently competitive car that can win rounds. This team wants to move up from our eighth place in the standings and that`s not unrealistic at all.”
For now the team must focus on this weekend`s event at Bandimere Speedway â€“ one of the facilities Herbert enjoys racing at year after year.
“The nice thing about the race this weekend is that it`s at Bandimere Speedway,” Herbert said. “The Bandimere family re-invests in their track every year and the racers and fans reap the benefits of that. They take a lot of pride in the track and it`s always nicer than the year before.”
The NHRA POWERade Series starts pro qualifying with sessions on Friday at 4:15 and 7:15 p.m. Qualifying continues Saturday at 3 and 6 p.m. before final eliminations start at noon Sunday.
ESPN2 will air coverage of this weekend`s event starting with qualifying at 8 p.m. (ET) on Saturday. Final eliminations can be seen on ESPN2 at 9 p.m. (ET) on Sunday. NHRA 2Day starts at 11:30 a.m. on Sunday, also on ESPN2.
by Special to the LTN