Atlanta: Dixon qualifies No. 3

COMMERCE,GA (May 5) -- For the sixth time out of the first seven events of the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season, Larry Dixon has qualified the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster in the No. 3 position at the Advance Auto Parts Southern ...

COMMERCE,GA (May 5) -- For the sixth time out of the first seven events of the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing season, Larry Dixon has qualified the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster in the No. 3 position at the Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals with a lap of 4.593 seconds at 316.90 mph.

Dixon entered the final day of qualifying at Atlanta Dragway with ownership of the No. 3 spot on the ladder with his lap of 4.594 seconds at 316.30 mph recorded on Friday night. Saturday's heat and humidity made it difficult for many teams to improve their positioning despite improving their elapsed times, including Dixon.

Crew Chief Dick LaHaie opened the day's challenging weather conditions with a tune-up resulting in Dixon's first lap of 4.623 seconds at 315.19 mph. It was a side-by-side race with No. 1 qualifier Kenny Bernstein (4.521 seconds) with both drivers recording identical elapsed times in the round. Then in the afternoon heat with track temperatures exceeding 130 degrees, LaHaie turned the knobs of the Miller Lite Dragster yet again to produce the Team's best run of the weekend, a lap of 4.593 seconds at 316.90 mph.

The No. 3 qualifying spot sees Dixon meet No. 14 seeded Bobby Baldwin yet again in Sunday's opening round of eliminations. The opening round pairing marks the fourth time in the first seven races of the year that Dixon and Baldwin will meet in the first round. For his career, Dixon owns a record of 5 wins and no losses and is 3 --0 against Baldwin for the season.

"Well, we went out today and made two runs, one .62 and one .59 and we were the only car to make to qualifying runs in the .50s, so I feel pretty good about our car right now," said Dixon. "Dick LaHaie has the car running really well even though it is very hot and very humid. We just need to see what is in store for us tomorrow. We take on Bobby Baldwin -- again, so we will just have to wait and see what happens."

Dixon is the current Winston Top Fuel points leader with 475 and holds a 16-point lead over second place Mike Dunn. Two qualifying sessions remain on Saturday and are scheduled for Noon and 3:00 pm ET. Sunday's finals will air on ESPN 2 beginning at 5:00 PM ET.

-Snake Racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Dick LaHaie