Things are really picking upMonday, February 06, 2012
Posted by: Doug Herbert, Herbert Performance/BRAKES

Hi blog fans! I was hoping to be able to announce in this blog that we would be racing at Pomona with a new sponsor. Unfortunately we have a delay and it looks like an announcement for the 2012 season and beyond will have to wait another week or two. Hopefully we will be ready to start the season off in Gainesville for the Gatornationals -- stay tuned!

James had some fun on this piece of concrete.

Things are really picking up here at the Doug Herbert Performance Center; I can tell that racing season is approaching! The new shop location directly across the street from the Charlotte Motor Speedway and ZMax Dragway has really been great and we are finally getting all settled in just in time for the 2012 racing season. We hope that everyone will come by and visit when you come to town for the Charlotte races or if you don't get a chance to swing be sure to call or visit our website when looking for performance parts.

Now to catch everyone up on what has been happening over the past few weeks.

The other day I found a patch of concrete that James had made into a little monument by the house. I have to say that it made me smile when I saw it but it also made me sad thinking about what could have been. James would be 16 years old now. Jon had a birthday last week as well; he would have been 22 years old. It’s hard to believe that it’s been four years, it really just seems like yesterday.

Quite a few cool things have happened so let’s start out with some really cool football news since the Super Bowl is still big news. I just got a Carolina Panther Jersey that my Twitter buddy Jason Carey had made up for me. He had my name and Top Fuel number put on the jersey, how cool! Now I am just waiting for Cam Newton to bring the wins to the Panthers. Hopefully next year..

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The NHRA Press Conference in Charlotte
The NHRA had a stop here in Charlotte for the NASCAR 2012 media tour. It was a huge press event and I was lucky to have some time to spend with my new fuel Funny Car racing buddies Alexis DeJoria and Courtney Force. I think they are both going to be tough and I have to say that I am fans of both! I also had some time to catch up with Bruton and Marcus Smith from the Speedway and zMax Dragway as well as Tom Compton and Jerry Archambeault from the NHRA. It was a great media event and actually very exciting to have all of the national media talking to us about the sport that we all love, NHRA Drag racing!

Speaking of promoting NHRA drag racing... My friends Larry and Troy joined me for a quick trip to Aruba to attend the Aruba drag race nationals last week as a guest of Mr. Mike Eman, the Prime Minister of Aruba. How cool was this you ask? Imagine bypassing all security as a diplomat and escorted by the Prime Minister’s men, awesome! Randall and Haime and all of our new Aruba friends made us feel very welcome.

The purpose of the trip was to "coach" the Prime minister in a Super Gas roadster. The plan was to set a personal record for him in the quarter-mile. He was great and ended up running a really straight and going 10.17. I think he will be ready to break his record again next year! I am planning on going back to coach him again and hopefully break into thenines.

I was REALLY impressed with the excitement that everyone in Aruba has for drag racing. They had several hundred cars competing and thousands of fans packed the stands to watch the racing action. I can just imagine what this crowd would do if the saw a Top Fuel dragster shake the ground!

One very cool thing that I learned about Aruba. They actually generate 20 percent of the total power used in the country from 10 huge windmills. They are also building 10 additional windmills that will end up providing 40 percent of the total power used in the country. Also, all the water they use in Aruba is desalinized ocean water and the water is the quality of our purified drinking water. Maybe the US needs to take some lessons from Aruba?

Thanks to Mike Eman, Haime, Randall and everyone from Aruba for the wonderful hospitality. I am excited to go back and visit again sometime soon!

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Troop 39 presented me a special award
I was recently honored to be the speaker for the Boy Scouts at Troop 39’s 70th anniversary party. I was able to share my story with the nearly 200 scouts in attendance and tell them about some of my experiences as an Eagle Scout, NHRA drag racing and B.R.A.K.E.S. driving school. I am a supporter of the Boy Scouts and always enjoy spending time with the boys and leaders. I even got to meet one of Troop 39's original members, he was at the first troop meeting ever in 1941!

Be sure to mark your calendar for February 24! B.R.A.K.E.S. will be hosing our inaugural benefit dinner at the NHRA Wally Parks motorsport museum in Pomona and we would be honored for all NHRA fans to join us. Tickets are available on the web site or by calling the B.R.A.K.E.S. office at 704-720-3805; hurry because tickets are going fast. I am not 100 percent sure of all the drivers that we will have at the dinner but I know NHRA legend Shirley Muldowney is coming as well as some other big names, trust me fans you will see some of the greatest NHRA racers and I actually have word that we may have a very famous special guest, I will have to keep everyone posted about this on twitter. I have to especially thank the NHRA and Tom Compton for all the help and support with B.R.A.K.E.S. the past four years, we have already trained almost 4,000 teens to be better, safer and more responsible behind the wheel and none of this would have been possible without their support. This dinner support sthe B.R.A.K.E.S. charity and that will enable us to continue the free teen driving schools in Southern California, so please come join us if you can.

One last thing, I came across this picture with Paul Stanley and Gene Simmons taken a few years ago at the Las Vegas race. They are huge drag race fans, how cool is that?

Until next time keep the shiny side up!