BRIANERD, MINN (Aug. 19) Larry Dixon drove the Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Lite Dragster to his second career win at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday, his fourth of the season, and overtook the lead in the Top Fuel points race at the 20th ...
BRIANERD, MINN (Aug. 19) Larry Dixon drove the Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Lite Dragster to his second career win at Brainerd International Raceway Sunday, his fourth of the season, and overtook the lead in the Top Fuel points race at the 20th Annual Colonel's Truck Accessories Nationals.
Dixon's win was the 14th of his seven-year driving career and tied team owner Don Prudhomme for Top Fuel career wins. Making the weekend even more spectacular was the "double up" win as Snake Racing teammate Ron Capps drove the Skoal Green/Miller Lite Racing Camaro to victory lane as well, marking the second time that Dixon and Capps have given the Snake a double up weekend. The first came at the 1998 Winternationals.
The Miller Lite Team began the day as the No. 1 qualifier - the ninth time in Dixon's career he has held that position. Crew Chief Dick LaHaie and the entire Miller Lite Team dominated the day as they posted low elapsed time of each of the four rounds of racing. The first round saw Dixon meet up with No.16 qualifier Tony Schumacher and the Army Dragster. The pairing was the 14th of their careers and the third time they have met this season. Dixon blasted out to a lap of 4.603 seconds at 318.09 mph to defeat Schumacher's pass of 5.091 seconds at 218.80 mph. Dixon is now 6-8 for his career and is 2-1 against Schumacher for the season. The win also extended Dixon's opening round win streak to 18 the longest current streak in Top Fuel.
The second round saw Dixon meet up with No. 8 Doug Herbert for the third time this season. Dixon maintained his undefeated status this year against the Snap On Tools pilot as the Miller Lite Dragster posted a time of 4.663 seconds at 305.84 mph to defeat Herbert's time of 5.365 seconds at 191.35. Unbelievably, Dixon earned his 11th career win over Herbert in 13 meetings (11-2) inspite of running on only five cylinders during the round.
The win over Herbert advanced Dixon and team to their 13th semifinal round appearance out of the 17 races this season. The Miller Lite Team would not let their chance to gain ground in the points race slip away (after points leader Kenny Bernstein was upset by Luigi Novelli in the first round). Dixon ran a semifinal round winning lap of 4.608 seconds at 315.86 mph to better No. 4 qualifier Doug Kalitta's smoky lap of 6.915 seconds at 123.18mph. Dixon's win was his third of the season over Kalitta (3-3) and the eighth of his career (8-7) over the Mac Toolsdriver.
Dixon's final round showing Sunday was the 30th of his career and his sixth of the 2001 Winston Drag Racing Series. His opponent was the No. 6 qualifier, rookie driver Darrell Russell, in a rematch of the Top Fuel final round Dixon won at Columbus earlier this year on Father's Day (June 17, 2001). Dixon collected his fourth win of the season and 14th of his career as LaHaie again tuned a masterful combination, resulting in a championship winning lap of 4.609 seconds at 316.90 mph to defeat Russell's time of 4.709 seconds at 317.42 mph.
The win moved Dixon's point total to 1,412 - eight points ahead of Bernstein (1,408). It also was the second time the Miller Lite shoe has claimed the Top Fuel crown at B.I.R. after defeating Eddie Hill for the win in 1999.
Dixon's position atop the point standings marks the second time he has been the leader this year. The first came after the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway (April 29, 2001).
The Miller Lite Team takes one week off as they return home to Indianapolis to prepare for the 48th Annual Mac Tools NHRA U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis Raceway Park (Aug. 31-Sept. 3).