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.
Hi blog fans! I have been working hard over here at Doug Herbert Performance parts. I like to say that I just work half days: only 12 hours per day!
It does not look like I am going to be racing in Indy this year -- bummer. The good news though, the Charlotte race is coming up really soon and I have a few irons in the fire that would make my team a part of a great marketing effort that would involve the dragster and the sport that we all love, NHRA drag racing!
I made a interesting visit with my friends Jim Comer and Dick Paysor to a customer’s shop up in Lexington, N.C., the other day and I wanted to share a few pictures from that trip. Dave Brown has a shop called RennGruppe, they specialize in Porsches and, specifically, racing Porsches. I was surprised at some of the technology that was in these cars, even back in the 1960s.
One of the other really cool things that I learned is that they use some of the same parts and manufactures that we use on our Top Fuel engines when they build these racing Porsche engines. It was a really cool visit, Dave was great and he gave us an inside look at several projects that he was working on. Thanks Dave!
One of the other really fun things I did the other day was attend a sales kickoff meeting for the Charlotte-area Coca-Cola bottlers. It was great to not only meet all these great folks but to also talk to them about how NHRA drag racing is an important part of the Coca-Cola and Full Throttle marketing and sales plans leading up to the Charlotte races next month at the zMax Dragway. I think I was able to get these guys pumped up about the NHRA drag races coming to town and Coke will have Full Throttle displays in all the retail locations to help drum up excitement and new fans for the events. It is really great to have the support and backing of Coca-Cola and the Full Throttle brand behind the NHRA!
I always get asked about Bella the dog and how she is doing. She is already almost 9 months old and getting close to 90 pounds; she is a moose!
This past weekend we held a B.R.A.K.E.S. teen driving school. This was a great milestone event because we graduated our 3,000th teen! Here is a quote that I took from a parent email that I just received about her son that attended one of our free driving schools here in Charlotte.
“I just wanted to give you a practical example of how BRAKES has made a positive impact. My son Clark came to the BRAKES School last weekend. He wasn't sure how much it helped but, today we saw evidence of how it helped him. We were driving down 40 East on the way to Wilmington. He was driving at the posted speed (70 mph) and following a truck. The truck swerved to the right, revealing a large tire in the road. Clark calmly braked and smoothly swerved to the right to avoid the tire. He then smoothly corrected and got back into his lane. He said after it happened that he could hear his BRAKES instructor's voice in his head as he avoided the debris. Thanks so much! Please pass this along to the instructors! He handled it much better than I would have expected and it was a clear example of something he learned during BRAKES.”
It brought tears to my eyes when I read the note. I don’t know if the voice he heard was the instructor or Jon and James but no matter what I know that they had something to do with it. We still have spots open for the school at Pomona in December if you have a teen driver or know one, please bring them out; you won’t be sorry that you did. There are about 6,000 teens killed every year in car accidents and we are doing something about it.
Thanks to the NHRA for supporting B.R.A.K.E.S., we are really making a difference and these teens are learning that the place to go fast is at the track, not on the street.
Until next time, be good and keep the shiny side up!
Ginger and I all dressed up
Hello blog fans, It’s been a busy past couple weeks here at Doug Herbert headquarters! My Facebook page has been maxed out at 5,000 friends so I started a new fan page. Please go to my new fan page
and give me a like.
Our friends Anna Lisa and Jake were married just a couple weeks ago so I pulled out my penguin suit. Ginger put on one of her great looking outfits and we joined them. At the reception we had a great time and one of the fun things was seeing Bruton get out on the dance floor. Anna Lisa and Ginger were the only ones that could talk him into a dance, I thought he did a great job! The sly old guy was trying to make the moves on Ginger. I can’t say that I blame him because she looked great! Anna Lisa and Jake looked great together and really happy! Congratulations to the happy couple we wish you the best for a great future together!
I have been asked quite a few times how the LSR project car is coming along and wanted to get an update. Just like the Top Fuel dragster, we are still looking for corporate support to really push the project along quickly but for now we continue to keep doing a little work on the car. The plan now is to have the car ready to test early next summer and try to take a run at the Bonneville Salt Flats next year during Speed Week. We have the actual engines getting ready to be put in the car, a pair a Pro Charger supercharged V-10 Dodge Viper engines; they should make about 2,000 horsepower each.
I got a great surprise earlier this week when our friends from Coca-Cola surprised me with a special edition Doug Herbert and BRAKES Coke machine! It looks great and I already have had a few fans ask if there will be more of these around town. All I can say is that I hope so! B.R.A.K.E.S. really appreciates all the support from great companies like Coca-Cola! Be sure to help us spread the word on BRAKES and make a difference to lower the number of teens killed every year in car accidents.
This Tuesday we participated in the Charlotte Motor Speedways “Parade of Power.” They actually closed Bruton Smith Blvd. between the Concord Mills Mall and the speedway and all the race cars made the drive down the road led by the mascot “Lug Nut.” It was a great event to promote all of the fall racing action at the speedway.
After the parade we had a question and answer session with my fellow NHRA racers Matt and Angie Smith along with a few of the NASCAR guys. Be sure to go to the speedway website. Thanks to John Davison for letting me use a bunch of his photos of the action from the parade! Also, don’t forget if you get close to the speedway be sure to stop by at say hello at my shop, we are less than a mile north of the Speedway on Highway 29.
The race at zMax Dragway is only about a month away. I am still working hard to find some sponsorship to be able to run my Top Fuel dragster at the race. Hopefully I will have some good luck with that soon.
This year will be our 4th annual BRAKES benefit dinner on Thursday evening before the zMax race, so if you are going to be in town we would like to invite you to attend. It will be a fun night with dinner, entertainment and an auction all to raise money for the charity. Look at the B.R.A.K.E.S. website for more information.
Until next time…