Drag Illustrated Issue 177, July / August 2022 | Page 127

To say I wasn ’ t nervous my first run down that track this year would be a lie ,” Herem admits . “ I was much more jittery than I should have been , but I went right back down the left lane where I had crashed .

He earned the coveted , emotionally mending win light on an 8.928 to an 8.930 on the 8.90 index . His margin of victory was a pleasing . 011 .
“ When that last win light came on , I think it was mostly a sense of relief ,” he recalls . “ Vengeance isn ’ t quite the right word , but it ’ s close . I ’ m not proud to say it , but the first words out of my mouth weren ’ t about the victory , they were about conquering Phoenix . It was such a mental mountain , and it was such a weight off my shoulders to win there .”
A month after the meaningful victory , Herem reached the semifinals in Super Comp at the Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals and missed reaching
July / August 2022 the final round by just . 005 . After four division races and three national events contested this season , Herem was No . 14 in the division and No . 13 in the world .
In Super Street , the former Division 7 champion reached the semifinals at the first Las Vegas divisional event , then was runner-up in the next race to position himself No . 7 in the division standings with just four races contested .
Herem didn ’ t enter the season with an agenda . He simply wanted to get back to doing what he knows how to do . With that established and his name in early talks for a stellar ending to the season , he ’ s had to rethink the schedule . It ’ s a bit trickier now than before , though , as wife Whitney is expecting their first child – and the due date is October 1st .
“ I still have a really good chance to win a world championship , and all of our Division 7 events happen after October 1st ,” he surmises . “ That adds a very complicated layer to my racing life . I ’ ve always raced with the mentality of not really chasing points . My goal was to race when I could and win races , and that would be that . But this year is possibly different . I started out pretty good , but we ’ ll go to Sonoma and see how it goes . If the wheels fall off the bus , maybe we ’ ll pull back .
“ But no matter what happens , I ’ m just extremely thankful for the friends and family who helped me up when I was down , and that they continue to do so . Whitney ; her parents , Duane and Betsy Shields ; and my grandparents , Willie and Carolyn . Troy Williams Jr .; Slate and Britt Cummings ; John Labbous Jr . – they ’ re like brothers to me . The accident really changed a lot of things , including my outlook . What I ’ ve gained the most out of this is gratitude , and I couldn ’ t be more thankful .”
Herem also thanked sponsors Mobil 1 Racing ; FTI Performance and FTI on-SITE ; and Mickey Thompson Tires . DI
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