Jessie finishing off the tree decor
Hi blog fans. I hope everyone is in the mood for the holidays and I would like to wish everyone Merry Christmas and Happy New Year! I am looking forward to a great 2012 and hope to have some good news about racing really soon. Ginger, Jessie and I had fun decorating the Christmas tree and putting some holiday cheer into our house and at the Doug Herbert Performance Center.
My buddies from GM invited me to take a ride in a new 2012 ZL-1 supercharged Camaro -- what a car! They actually had a tour to road test the cars so they took a caravan of ZL-1 Camaro's and took about a 1,000 mile trip from Detroit down through the South East and then back to put a few miles on the cars and get them ready to get out into the public.
This month was also the Annual Stocks for Tots show in Mooresville. All of the racing community get together to help make Christmas better for kids that might not have a Christmas present, it's a great thing and always a fun event. Many thanks to Don Miller for working so hard to put this event on each year. For some reason they always stick the drag racers in one corner so I had a great time talking with my buddies Greg Anderson and Jason Line. My neighbor on the other side was ARCA racer Leilani Munter. It was a great time, thanks to everyone that participated to help the kids.
Besides the regular day to day stuff Jessie and I have bowled a few games, she is actually really getting good and generally whips me when we play.
Bella continues to grow; she just turned 1 year old and has just hit 100 pounds. What a great dog! She does eat a lot though, that causes quite a bit of extra work for me in the yard too, if you know what I mean. Oh and if you are sitting around during the holidays looking for a good movie try to find the move called Hachi, a dogs tale. It's a great movie starring Richard Gere about life stories that features an Akita dog and is based on a true story.
The temp here in Charlotte has been really nice for a December but the warm weather did not deter Jessie from wanting to make a visit to the mountains and try out the slopes. I passed on the skiing since it looked a little to muddy but Jessie and her friend Olivia still had a great time at Sugar Mountain.
On our way home we passed a Cheese factory and I had to check it out. It was the only place besides Wisconsin that I have found real cheese curds and they are great to eat!
The BRAKES teen safe driving school has really been going great. This year we trained over 1,500 teens how to be safer and more responsible behind the wheel. In 2012 we are planning to double that and train over 3,000 teens!
The school is no cost to teens and families thanks to the support that we have from great companies like the NHRA. If you have a teen or you are a teen be sure to visit the BRAKES web site and sign up: www.putonthebrakes.org
Speaking of BRAKES, last week the Ingersoll rand corporation made a great donation that will allow us to put at least an extra 100 teens through the school in 2012. Thanks Ingersoll Rand! They invited us up to the headquarters in Davidson, N.C., just up the road from my shop for a check presentation and wow was I impressed! Did you know that Ingersoll Rand not only makes tools and air compressors but they make the Club Car gold carts and Trane air conditioners in addition to many other products, it was a great visit. Please be sure to support the companies like Ingersoll Rand because they are making a difference in our communities.
One last thing. I saw the funniest road sign a few days ago. Have you ever seen one that said "Goose Crossing" -- what a crack up!
This past week we also had the pleasure of hosting Chris Lafferty and his crew for a segment of his show on the Fox sports channel that will air next month. Be sure to keep an eye on the listings in your area for the show.
Thanks for all your support the fans of the NHRA drag racing family are great and I am really proud to be part of it. I hope to be able to make an announcement about racing in 2012 very soon, until then be good and Happy Holidays!
Our Halloween party
I would like to congratulate the new 2011 NHRA Full Throttle champions! Del Worsham actually won the 1992 IHRA Championship in Funny Car, the same year that I won my first of four IHRA championships in Top Fuel. Great job by Del and the team. Also wonderfull to see the incredible points battle this year in Funny Car; great job by Matt Hagen, Tommy DeLago and team for their win, too.
Since my last blog update quite a few things have happened, so let me try to get you up to date!
Ginger, Jessie, Bella and I took a nice trip to the local Blue Ridge Mountains and visited Grandfather Mountain. What a great place and incredible natural monument. Bella did not really like walking across the mile-high bridge though.
On Halloween we had a few friends over for a fun party and costume contest.One of the best costumes was our friends Ken and Susan that dressed up as huge Doug Herbert fans!
Ginger competed in the Mrs. North Carolina pageant. The contest got down to the final two women and then they announced that they had a tie! Anyways the tie did not work out the way that we had hoped and Ginger was first runner-up for Mrs. North Carolina. I was really proud of her and she looked great as Mrs. Cabarrus County.
I was invited to the brand new Boeing factory in Charleston, S.C. They had a friends and family day to celebrate the opening of the brand new factory where the new all-composite 787 Dreamliner aircraft will be built. It was absolutely amazing to see the assembly line and how the plane goes through production, starting from the smallest parts and then assembling the bigger modules and finally into the biggest hanger where the final assembly on the plane is done. It makes me proud to know that we have such an impressive factory that builds the world’s leading-edge technically advanced aircraft right here in the Carolinas. They actually have a modified 747 Jumbo jet, the Dreamlifter that transfers some of the biggest parts between the various Boeing factories, it is unbelievable that something so huge will actually fly! My only disappointment was that I did not get a chance to fly one, but my buddy Dave at Boeing did send me home with a new 787 Dreamliner leather jacket and I will wear it proudly!
At Doug Herbert Performance we are having a special customer appreciation day for "Black Friday," the day after Thanksgiving. We are giving away a FREE Doug Herbert t- shirt to every customer and fan that comes in to visit the shop. No purchase necessary for this special offer. Just come by and get a free shirt on Black Friday. Our shop is really convenient if you are in the Charlotte area. We are less than a mile from the Charlotte Motor Speedway and the ZMax Drag way and just a couple miles away from the great Concord Mills mall, so come by and say hi and pick up a free t-shirt.
I would like to wish everyone a Happy Thanksgiving. I hope that you are able to enjoy the holiday with family and friends.
Until next time, be good and I hope to be able to announce some good news for the 2012 season really soon.
My birthday gift
Hello blog fans. First of all I want to send my sincere condolences to Dan Wheldon’s family; our racing family lost another champion much too soon. Rest in peace, Dan.
To update everyone since my last blog entry, I am still working hard to find the sponsor support to get out the NHRA races and run the Top Fuel dragster that I have sitting here! In fact I have two race-ready cars, a race transporter, a hospitality transporter, and a souvenir rig and we are ready to go racing. I have a couple of irons in the fire right now that would enable us to get back to the track. One thing for sure is that the first place to know about me finding a sponsor would be all my friends at NHRA and my blog readers!
A couple weeks ago I took Jessie and our friends Wanda and Ally up to Maggie Valley, N.C., to see our pal Hoss Howard and his band perform at Stingrays. It was a great show and what a nice place Maggie Valley is. Hoss is actually getting some songs recorded by some of the top artists so keep your eye out for him to bust onto the scene big time.
Last week I had a chance to join the North Carolina State troopers out at the Cleveland country fair. They had a great display with several of the old patrol vehicles that they used back in the 1950s and 60s. Our friend “Fergo,” Officer Ferguson, was sure to help us get the word out about B.R.A.K.E.S. and what we are doing to keep our teens safe on the roads. The had a very sobering display of car keys that were taken from accident scenes that had a teen fatality. They called the board “the last place your keys hang” and, wow, it really makes you think about the 6,000 teens that lose their lives each year in auto accidents.
Unfortunately I missed the race this past weekend in Phoenix but luckily for me I still got a bit of a racing fix since the NASCAR guys were racing here in Charlotte. The racing in town actually help bring in quite a bit of walk in traffic to the Doug Herbert Performance Center that is in a great location just across the street from the speedway and ZMax Dragway.
My birthday was just a couple weeks ago and one of the best birthday gifts I received was from my buddy Jason, Stoker Ace Kid in Idaho. A signed Cam Newton authentic jersey -- very cool! Thanks Jason!
Yesterday Kyle Petty and Dianne Baldwin invited me to go on the “Ride to Victory” fundraiser ride for Kyle’s charity Victory Junction Camp. It was a great ride up through the North Carolina mountains and the Lake Lure/ Chimney Rock area, ending up at the Ashville Harley Davidson dealer. Kyle has done great things with Victory Junction in memory of his son Adam. I am lucky to call him a friend and really happy to be able to help him with Victory.
Ginger is hard at work getting ready for the Mrs. North Carolina pageant this Saturday! I am excited and I know I am slightly biased but I think she is a shoo-in!
Until next time.
Ginger and I at the BRAKES dinner
Ginger dressed up for Mrs. North Carolina
'34 Chevy that Rodger Comstock was high bidder on
Bob Frey at the shop for donuts
Me with "TV Tommy" Ivo and Jack Beckman
Hi Blog fans!
Last week was a bit of a roller coaster. I was really excited to have the NHRA nationals here in Concord at the zMax Dragway but at the same time I was bummed that my NHRA Top Fuel Dragster was sitting in the shop, ready to run and no corporate backing to get it out to the track. It was actually the first NHRA event at zMax since the track has opened that I have not competed in. Bummer.
Even though I was not racing there was plenty of excitement around the races! On Thursday evening before the races started we had our 4th annual B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe; my boys’ friends came up with this) fundraiser dinner and it was great! We raised enough money through the dinner and some great auction items to put about 400 teens through the no cost teen driving school. Some of the auction items included a Charlie Daniels autographed fiddle, autographed Tony Hawk skateboard, a back stage tour with Vanna White for the Wheel of Fortune, autographed John Force helmet, a BRAKES Coca Cola machine, and much more. Special thanks to all my friends and fellow drivers that came out and made the evening great! Just to name a few of my racer buddies that came out to help us: Bobby Allison, Larry Dixon, David Grubnic, Clay Millican, TJ Zizzo, Jack Beckman, Jim O from Kalitta’s, Greg Anderson, Jason Line, Allen Johnson, Erica Enders, Bob Benza, Matt Smith, Rickie Smith, Angie Smith, Steve Johnson, our master of ceremonies Bob Frey, NHRA President Tom Compton, and Speedway Motorsports president Marcus Smith.
It was a great program and Bob Frey did an awesome job as always keeping the show moving along and having fun. Isn’t it amazing that Bob can always find something funny that makes everyone laugh. It seemed like my buddy Steve Johnson Pro Stock Bike racer was easy pickings this year for a few laughs!
I think the most impactful part of the evening was after we played a video telling the story of BRAKES that featured several of my boys’ friends talking about how a life can be changed in an instant and how the loss of Jon & James still affects their lives nearly 4 years later. After the video, BRAKES board Chairman and my friend Jeff Steiner had a roundtable discussion with myself and three friends of mine. funny car standout and driving instructor Jack Beckman; Bence Hoyle, police chief for the town of Cornelius where my boys’ accident occurred; and Wes Gwynn, my son Jon’s best friend. I think everyone in the room understood exactly what we are doing and why we are doing it. Thank everyone for their support and for making a difference!
On Friday and Saturday mornings of the race we offered fans and customers a chance to come by our new location of the Doug Herbert Performance Center for a visit and for free Crispy Creme donuts and coffee. I gave several tours of the shop and showed everyone what we do here including our great parts show rooms where we have parts, race cars, engines and many other cool items on display for our customers to see. We toured the parts warehouse and shipping area where we pack up parts and ship out all over the country and even the world! We visited my t shirt and screen-printing manufacturing area where we print shirts for many race teams, car shows and manufactures, we visited with my Top Fuel dragster and I had a chance to answer some questions about that. I also had a chance to show the visitors my Dad’s legendary motorcycle “The Beast” and my 1993 Top Fuel car that at one time was the world’s quickest at 4.880 and it was also the second car ever over 300 mph, at Pomona in 1993. The last stop was to visit the engine shop where we build engines from the ground up. Everything from a stock rebuild to a classic restoration rebuild to a NASCAR Nationwide or Truck engine to a Top Fuel dragster engine, we do it all here, in house and then we are also able to dyno test and tune the engines on our Superflow dyno so that before the engine goes out the door we know it is perfect and tuned to maximum performance. One of the fun groups I was able to take on a shop tour was all the auto shop students from Nations Ford High school. It is always fun to teach teens about some of my favorite things!
One of my most fun guests was Mr. Bob Frey. I think he just wanted to come by for donuts! And he had a special request: lemon-filled. I actually could not find lemon-filled so I bought every kind of filled donut they had and told Bob that I was not sure what one was lemon, I think I may have fooled him on that one because he didn’t want to eat five donuts to find that lemon-filled!
Speaking of Bob Frey, I want to thank Bob and the NHRA staff for allowing me to help call the race action from the announcers booth during the Top Fuel and Funny car sessions throughout the weekend. I actually got several comments on my Twitter account that people enjoyed me talking and they want me to put in my resume to ESPN and do some work with Mike Dunn, now that would be fun, maybe I should!
Another great thing going on is that Ginger was picked to represent Cabarrus County and the City of Concord in the Mrs. North Carolina pageant! The event will take place this year on Oct 22 in Mooresville and should be fun.
I look forward to getting back on the track and into my NHRA Top Fuel dragster soon! I have a few irons in the fire so hopefully that will happen soon. By the way follow me on twitter if you can @dougherbert , be safe until next time.