CONCORD, N.C. – Back in 1992, Doug Herbert rolled into what was then Bristol Int’l Raceway with his fledgling Top Fuel Dragster team and soon rolled into the winner’s circle for the first time in his professional drag racing career.
Much has happened since that day 21 years ago, including his three consecutive IHRA World Championships, becoming the second racer to break the 300 mph barrier, the adoption of the nickname “Dougzilla” after his wild confrontation with fellow Top Fuel driver Clay Millican in 2002, and the creation of a successful non-profit
501 (C)(3) organization that has helped save the lives of thousands of young motorists across the country, B.R.A.K.E.S. (Be Responsible And Keep Everyone Safe).
On June 14-16, Herbert will be making yet another appearance at the storied venue where he has enjoyed so much racing success when he brings his B.R.A.K.E.S./Doug Herbert Racing Top Fuel machine to the 2013 NHRA Ford Thunder Valley Nationals at what is now named Bristol Dragway.
“I won my first race there in 1992 and then picked up six straight victories on that quarter-mile,” recalls Herbert, who won IHRA world championships in 1994-1996 and ranks as the most successful driver in Bristol Dragway history. “This year, the race is on Father’s Day weekend, so it makes perfect sense for me to be back on the track with my B.R.A.K.E.S. dragster wearing the pictures of my two sons, Jon and James.”
Herbert’s sons were both killed in a head-on collision near their Charlotte, N.C., home in 2008, which resulted in Herbert and a group of his sons’ friends creating B.R.A.K.E.S., which in the past five years has provided an intensive Teen Pro-Active Driving Course to thousands of teenage motorists across the country, free of charge.
“Jon and James will be riding with me in Bristol which will make this race pretty special on Father’s day weekend,” says Herbert. “We’re planning on having a great time and showing everyone we’re a team that should be running at every race.”