Dixon Drives to Semifinal Finish at Columbus HEBRON, Ohio. (June 13, 2004) -- Larry Dixon ran his unbeaten streak at National Trail Raceway to 14 rounds Sunday before falling in the semifinals as the two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion ...
Dixon Drives to Semifinal Finish at Columbus
HEBRON, Ohio. (June 13, 2004) -- Larry Dixon ran his unbeaten streak at National Trail Raceway to 14 rounds Sunday before falling in the semifinals as the two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion was unsuccessful in his bid to win for the fourth consecutive season at the Ohio track.
Dixon, whose last defeat at National Trail Raceway was in the second round to Joe Amato in 2000, used a .052 reaction time to score the holeshot win over David Grubnic in the first round of eliminations. Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to a run of 4.636 seconds at 321.92 mph to edge Grubnic's quicker-but-losing performance of 4.614 at 314.02 from his Kalitta Air dragster. At the end of the run, Dixon's parachutes malfunctioned and the 33-time NHRA winner's dragster went into the sand pit.
"You live by the sword, you die by the sword," Dixon said after his holeshot win. "It's nice to be able to give one back to the team every once in a while.
"Going into the sand trap was a non-issue. I knew we'd make it back for the second round. We have a championship team and they're the best."
In round two, Dixon's Miller Lite rail was over aggressive as it spun the tires causing the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year to slow to a run of 5.262 at 276.63. However, second round challenger and No. 16 qualifier Mitch King suffered problems, slowing to a run of 6.018 at 178.24 as he watched Dixon race to the win light.
The sunny weather conditions challenged the crew chiefs as the National Trail Raceway quarter mile became hot and slick on Sunday. That plagued the Miller Lite team in the semifinals as Dixon's dragster spun the tires near mid track allowing opponent Darrell Russell to score the win. Dixon recorded a run of 5.382 at 185.31, while Russell had no time due to a timing malfunction.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 35th annual K&N Filters SuperNationals, June 17-20, at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, N.J. Dixon scored the win at Raceway Park in 1995 and has posted runner-up finishes at the New Jersey track that past two seasons.