Hello blog fans! Sorry for the delay in updating the blog, let me try to get you up to speed…
The sponsor search continues. I am confident that we will be able to announce a new sponsor to run the entire 2013 NHRA series in Top Fuel. Stay tuned for details, and I will release them as things transpire. The NHRA will be coming back to my home track next month, and we are working full time to try and finish up a sponsor for the race September 13-16 at the awesome zMAX Dragway! Also, don’t forget on September 14 BRAKES will be hosting a morning golf event that will be open to the public. Everyone will have a chance to play golf with their favorite NHRA and NASCAR drivers at Rocky River Golf Club, located next door to the zMAX Dragway. On the evening of the 13th, we will have our 5th annual BRAKES charity benefit dinner with all of our favorite NHRA racers. This event will also be open to the public and will feature Rudy Ruettiger from the Notre Dame movie “Rudy” as our guest speaker. Please come and join us for a great day and evening. For details please go to the BRAKES website, www.putonthebrakes.org
Congratulations to new winners Erica Enders and Courtney Force! I have known Erica for years, and she is a great person. I’m very happy to see the success that she is enjoying right now. And Courtney, WOW I am very impressed with her. She does a great job behind the wheel and in front of the camera. Great job by her and her crew chief and my old buddy Ron Douglas!
Even though I have not been racing I have been to some races! I took a ride up to Bristol and spent some time in the tower with all my NHRA buddies and even had the opportunity to commentate with Bob Frey. That was fun, and Bob is always a great guy to hang out with.
Lunch with Bobby Allison
One person who I always love to see is NASCAR legend Bobby Allison. He and my dad were friends from way back in the 1950s, and I am lucky enough to be friends with Bobby even today. He has come by this summer a few times as we are working on a Buick V-6 turbo engine project for him here in the engine shop. I will post the results of this as soon as they become available.
The BRAKES schools are doing great! We just finished up one of the Pomona schools that was presented by the NHRA. So far BRAKES has trained nearly 8,000 teens how to be more responsible behind the wheel. Every day we get letters and emails from parents and teens telling us how something they learned at the school saved them from being in an accident and may have actually saved their life! It’s pretty rewarding work!
I can’t believe that Jessie is already back at school! She just started 9th grade and is happy to now be a high school student. We had a fun summer. One of the best things we did was go up to West Virginia and visit my buddy Tony. He showed Jessie, Peyton and me some pretty fun places, including the good evening ranch where we camped out. What a fun place this was! Lions and Tigers (no bears) but a bunch of really awesome animals that were incredible to see. We also did the bridge walk over one of the tallest suspension bridges in the world. I did not see any jumpers, but apparently bungee jumping and parachute jumping is pretty popular… No thanks!
This week the Charlotte Motor Speedway and zMAX Dragway had their annual fall race season kick off starting with the “Parade of Power”. It was a fun event! I talked NASCAR fast guy Joey Logano into getting behind the wheel of the Top fuel car for a warm up complete with throttle hits! I am pretty sure he is now thinking that maybe driving a fuel car would be fun! I also had a chance to visit with some of my great NHRA pals, Erica Enders, Rickie Smith and Dave Connolly.
More updates coming soon! Stay tuned and I hope to see everyone at the zMAX race in September and at the BRAKES events on September 13.
Hi Blog fans, Sorry for not getting a blog up sooner after the Four-Wide Nationals. The sponsor search is still on. We are really close and good news will be along soon.
It was certainly a discouraging weekend at the 4 wide races at ZMax Dragway. Let me tell you about it. First of all I need to thank Rodger and Karen Comstock and Mail Terminal Services for their help and support and letting us run the BRAKES dragster for the race. Also thanks to Clevite/Mahle engine parts and Lucas oil for help and support of my team.
The first run: Because I don’t have a fulltime crew we really spent quite a bit of time getting the car together, so Scott spent the week before the race getting the car together. The car made a flawless run down the track that, according to the data recording, was between a 3.89 and 3.91. Now the bad news…. The NHRA timing system did NOT work, therefore we did not get a time for the run. This really hurt!
The second run: We had lane #3. No Funny Cars were running lane #3 because the track was peeling up. The Safety Safari worked on the lane and decided when the dragsters ran that the lane was good and we could go back to four-ide. After the burnout pieces of the track were stuck to my tires and looked like freckles all over the tires. Result: tire smoke.
The third run: During our pre-run warm up, the throttle cable got pinched and in a bind that no one noticed. When I went to do the burnout, I had to do a big leg press to get the throttle open. Stopping from the burnout I noticed that the fuel pressure was slightly off from normal. The throttle linkage was bent from having to mash the gas pedal so hard and caused the fuel metering valve to come out of adjustment. This caused the engine to “drop” a cylinder when I hit the throttle. Result: we ran a 4.01 on 7 cylinders and blew the engine up at the finish line.
The fourth run: We messed up the supercharger that we had been running and had to swap to another supercharger. We missed on the tune up and smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle. Result: the 4.01 ended us up in the 17th position and not qualified. Bummer, big time.
So that’s the race news. Now let’s talk about everything else!
BRAKES breakfast with John Force
Saturday morning of the ZMax race we held the BRAKES charity pancake breakfast and it was a huge success! Thanks to everyone for all the help and support for BRAKES.
So far, BRAKES has given more than 4,000 teens advanced behind the wheel driver training. There is no charge for this training; it is all funded through the help and support of everyone in our NHRA racing community! Especially thanks to everyone that supported the breakfast. Don Schumacher and the DSR hospitality crew for being gracious enough to let us use the NAPA team hospitality area for the fundraiser. Thanks to all of the drivers and my friends that made the time to come visit and make the event fun for the fans. John and Courtney Force, Antron Brown, Terry McMillen, Clay Millican, Ron Capps, Tony Schumacher, Jeff Arend, Shawn Langdon, Larry Dixon, Jack Beckman, Khalid alBalooshi, Dave Grubnic, Doug Kalitta, Dominick Lagana, Blake Alexander . For those of you that missed it, you missed a great stand-up comedy act between Antron and Force. Don’t miss it next year!
Jessie had her 14th birthday the weekend of the races and we celebrated at the BRAKES pancake breakfast by having a couple hundred of our best friends singing her Happy Birthday! She even got a kiss from our pal John Force. Jessie has really started being a health nut and she has actually got really into healthy eating. The other day she made Ginger and I a great dinner with quite a bit of creativity and good food!
The shop is doing good. The new location that is less than a mile from ZMax Dragway and the Charlotte Motor Speedway has been great! Next weekend, Saturday, May12 we will have our 20th annual car show and open house. If you are anywhere in the area please come see the shop, check out all the cars and performance parts and at noon we will fire up the Top Fuel dragster. We will actually pick a fan to sit in the car while we fire it up and hot the throttle to shake the ground! Bella, the Akita, will be in the house and Dr. Ginger will be here doing green juicing demonstrations with her new juicer package!
One of the other advantages to being here in Concord is that we are at the center of the racing universe and we are able to take advantage of all the events at the Speedway. Last week they had the annual Auto Fair and we had a booth set up with guys on hand to talk with customers and let them know that our performance parts store was just across the street. It was a great event and after the event Vic Edelbrock invited us to lunch at the Speedway club and that is always great! Very cool talking to Vic and hearing some of his wisdom.
There is a lot going on with BRAKES. Kyle Busch has really been helping us with the charity by doing several appearances with me at schools. Kyle and I just finished a PSA announcement at Speed channel that will be used to promote teen safe driving. I thank Kyle for his help and support!
As hard as I try to get my daughter Jessie into racing, she really likes horses. So last weekend we went to a horse show and she won a blue ribbon in a class of about 30 others! She really did great! Thanks to her trainer and friend, Anna Lisa and Churchill Stables farm.
Since the beginning of the year, I have been co-hosting a radio show with Marty Hough on MRN-NASCAR radio every Wednesday at noon called “The Straight-line”. We talk to the winners and news makers each week. It’s a great show and if you get a chance listen in to the show or download the broadcast afterwards or a Podcast! http://www.motorracingnetwork.com/MRN-Radio/Shows/The-Straightline.aspx
If I get some racing news NHRA will help me get the word out. In the meantime stay safe and strait and come see us May 12 in Concord, N.C.
Talking to Pancho and Larry while testing at zMax
Hello fans! We are only one week away from the Four-Wide Nationals at ZMax Dragway at the "Bellagio of Drag Strips" here in Concord, N.C., which coincidently, is only a stone’s throw from my shop, Doug Herbert Performance Center. So, if you are in town for the drag race, please stop by and say hi!
We are planning to race my Top Fuel car at the Four-Wide race and we are doing some testing to make sure we have a good outing. I am still looking to secure sponsorship support, if any one hears of anything, please let me know!
For everyone attending the Four-Wide race, be sure to NOT miss our annual Pancake Breakfast fundraiser for B.R.A.K.E.S. Saturday morning at the Four-Wide race at the Don Schumacher Racing hospitality area. I have all the pro racers coming to serve breakfast and talk to fans. The food is great and priced cheap, so don't miss it. What the heck, you have to eat breakfast anyway, so you may as well come have fun at the same time!
Congrats to my sister, Heather, for being promoted to Major in the U.S. Army. She has been in the Army for about 10 years now, spent a year in Iraq and has really done a great job! I'm very proud of her, in case you can't tell!
A couple weeks ago, Ginger took her first passes in my Super Comp dragster. She loved it. She thinks this may be something that she wants to get serious about. Maybe it will be easier to find her a sponsor than me?!?
Earlier this week we made a BRAKES presentation to the teens at Pine Lake Prep School in Mooresville, N.C. Kyle Busch joined us and related his driving and learning experiences to the teens. I think he did a great job telling his story. It is always better if we are able to learn from someone else's mistakes and Kyle did a good job letting them know that he has made some mistakes and hoped that they could all make better decisions, after hearing of all the trouble making bad decisions behind the wheel can cause.
This last weekend Jessie won two blue ribbons at a local horse show riding with help from Anna Lisa! How cool! I'm so proud. Thanks, Anna Lisa.
Shirley visited us last week and while she was here we went to look at the progress on the Land Speed Car. She decided that she wants to drive and be the fastest woman on earth!
In preparation for our annual Doug Herbert Performance Mother's Day Car Show & Sale, (May 12, the Saturday before Mother’s Day) we are getting together some of our customer's best cars. One of the best is a Richard Petty car that they brought by for us to look at. Be sure to come to the show Saturday morning May 12 and see some great cars and get some great deals on hot rod parts!
Scott Gaddy, my crew chief, brought in a fun picture! His dad brought him to Bristol way back in 1993 and took a picture with me; we won the race that day, coincidently. Now, he works for me.
Twitter is really picking up. If you are not on Twitter yet you might think about becoming a member-- after all it’s free! When you are a member, you can follow @NHRA and of course follow me! @dougherbert. The easiest way to explain Twitter is to just think of it like sending a short text message to all of your friends at one time. It’s pretty cool!
If you know anyone that would like to sponsor a top fuel dragster please get a hold of me! I'm ready to roll!
Until next time!
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..
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!
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 www.putontheB.R.A.K.E.S.org 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!