A great weekend in ConcordSaturday, September 24, 2011
Posted by: Doug Herbert, Herbert Performance/BRAKES
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
Sneaky photographer

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.