Denver: Larry Dixon eliminations summary

Larry Dixon wins Mile-High Nationals And extends points lead MORRISON, CO. (July 20) -Defending POWERade NHRA Champion and current points leader Larry Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to a win at the 24th Annual Mopar Mile High Nationals at...

Larry Dixon wins Mile-High Nationals And extends points lead

MORRISON, CO. (July 20) -Defending POWERade NHRA Champion and current points leader Larry Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to a win at the 24th Annual Mopar Mile High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway. Dixon claimed the title after defeating Doug Kalitta in the final round with a lap of 4.737 ET at 313.15 mph.

For the first round of Sunday eliminations Dixon and the Don Prudhomme owned dragster paired against No.16 qualifier Mitch King. But King smoked the tires and Dixon's 4.729-second run at 311.99 mph easily defeated King's effort of 7.837 ET (96.69 mph).

"When I go up there I try and race everybody hard, whether it's Mitch King or Doug Kalitta, Kenny or Brandon. You give everybody respect because they have the power to beat you if you don't show them respect." Dixon should know, he faced King last year in Houston. Smoked the tires and went out in round one.

Not the case this year at Bandimere Speedway. After winning round one, Dixon paired against Tony Schumacher in round two. The Army car drove 207.15 miles per hour, with a time of 5.466 ET. But Dixon in the Miller Lite/Mac Tools dragster drove a 4.778 ET at 309.98 mph, moving him to the semi-finals; marking the ninth time this year Dixon has made it to the Semi's and beyond.

In the semifinals the Miller Lite dragster paired against the red car and driver, Kenny Bernstein. Dixon previously held a career record of 18-22 against Bernstein on Sunday. Dixon would improve his record to 19-22 by defeating Bernstein with a lap of 313.66 mph and time of 4.730 ET, compared to Bernstein's 4.815 ET (307.23 mph).

Both Dixon's time and speed on this run would earn him the low ET and top speed of the race honors. "I know that LaHaie tries to race the racetrack more than the other car," said Dixon. "Just concentrating on that and not getting caught up in anything else, you can do ok."

Dixon would face No.3 qualifier Doug Kalitta in the finals for the third time this year (L-Englishtown NJ, W-Topeka KS, W-Las Vegas NV). The Miller Lite team hoped that history would repeat itself, remembering the win in 2001 at Bandimere; they defeated Doug Kalitta in the finals. Dixon holds a career record of 4-2 against Kalitta in the finals (L-Sonoma 00, W-Denver 01, W-Dallas 01, W-Vegas 03, L-Englishtown 03, W-Topeka 03).

Dixon would take home two trophies this weekend. The No.1 Qualifier Award (4.790 ET), earning him an extra four thousand dollars, and the coveted Wally statue for winning the race. Kalitta smoked the tires and managed a 5.135 ET (228.69 mph) but Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster drove a 4.737 ET at 313.15 miles per hour resulting in the title win.

"I think this year we had a great set up, and we slowly worked on it as the weekend progressed; we had been dropping cylinders. They finally found it last night," said Dixon. "The car ran pretty good and we just stayed with it. We had cloud cover every time we ran today, so heat wasn't a factor. We just went out there and Dick LaHaie and the guys-- I mean running 4.70's all day long, I don't know if anybody has ever done that. I've won races at sea level not running 4.70's. I thought they did a great job and I was just happy to drive the car."

Dixon continues to lead the NHRA point's race at 1227. The Miller Lite team hopes to keep their winning momentum alive when visiting Seattle July 25-27th for the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals at Pacific Raceway.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie , Mitch King