Gearing up for CharlotteWednesday, August 24, 2011
Posted by: Doug Herbert, Herbert Performance/BRAKES
Impressive historic Porsche's at RennGruppe
Sales meeting with the Charlotte Coke guys
Saturday's B.R.A.K.E.S. school at zMax

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!