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!
Sophie could fit in Bella's mouth
Hi Blog fans. I hope that everyone had great holidays and a Happy New Year!
I am happy to see 2012 come; things are looking good. In fact, I hope to be able to announce in the next week sponsorship support to be able to run the entire NHRA Full Throttle season.
We had a great Christmas and New Years and we were able to spend enjoying family and friends.
For Christmas, Jessie got a new Apple iPad and that was a huge hit. It’s amazing all the things it can do; I sure wish I had something like that when I was a kid. I remember the first video game that we had at home when I was a kid. Does anyone remember that old game that was so popular, Pong?
Ginger got her mom a new puppy for Christmas, a one-pound mini Terrier named Sophie; this dog was really a fun little dog. The only problem is that we had to ride in the car for five hours with our 100-poundAkita. It was actually funny because the puppy was so small that even Bella did not seem that interested in eating her. That was good because it would have only been one small bite! Speaking of Bella, I had to clean up a heck of a mess the other day when she pulled every bit of stuffing out of her bed. What a mess!
Our good friends Wanda and Craig had a great Boxing Day party on the day after Christmas. Every year she cooks shrimp and grits and I must admit that being a kid from California I would have never imagined liking this and I’m not sure if it’s just the way she makes it but, wow, it tastes like candy!
On New Year’s we went over to our friends Mike and Angie Skinner’s place. They have a super cool barn in the back yard that is part museum, part shop, and then a huge western saloon upstairs. What a great place to celebrate bringing in a new year!
Last weekend Jessie talked me into taking her up to the snow for a quick ski trip again. The good thing was this time we actually had snow to ski on! We just drove up to Winterplace, West Virginia, and met up with my old buddy Tony at the slopes. It was a great day for skiing and I think since it was so warm everyone must have been scared away; we never even had to wait in a single line. It was great! Jessie is really getting good at skiing; she will be ready for the Olympics pretty soon I think.
This past weekend I was honored to accept a spot in the North Carolina Drag Racing Hall of Fame. It was a great induction ceremony and being included in a group like this made it a super deal. I would like to congratulate the entire group of inductees including Ralph Seagraves, Curtis Smith and Tommy Mauney. My old IHRA friend Satch Gragg was my presenter into the hall.
Thanks to Steve Earwood, Jim Turner, and the entire NC Hall of Fame group for organizing this event.
One of the fans at the Hall of Fame ceremony had me sign one of the old Finish Line collectors cards from 1992. I thought that was pretty cool and I actually thought that I still look the same but Ginger reminded me that my hair looked more like Daniel Boone back then. Very funny! I guess less hair on my head now and more hair in other places that we don't care to mention.
Things are going good here at the Doug Herbert Performance Center. We ran a street 454 small block Chevy on the dyno the other day. This thing was a stump puller! It made 620 horsepower at 6,000 rpm on pump gas; I would like to have one of these in a street car of my own. Good thing that we can build more here at the shop.
Hope to be able to let everyone know about my 2012 racing plans very soon!
Until then, be good.
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.