Englishtown Larry Dixon on Pole after first day

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (May 19) - After a lengthy rain delay that washed out the first qualifying session on Friday, Larry Dixon posted a time of 4.644 seconds at 311.70 mph in his only lap of the day to qualify on the pole at the Matco Tools...

ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (May 19) - After a lengthy rain delay that washed out the first qualifying session on Friday, Larry Dixon posted a time of 4.644 seconds at 311.70 mph in his only lap of the day to qualify on the pole at the Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals.

Dixon, who currently sits third in the Winston point standings and just 47 points out of the lead, piloted the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster down the right lane to record the best time of the day among the 12 top fuel cars that participated in the first session out of the 16-car top fuel field.

"This track is really tough to get down," said Dixon. "Tonight we saw the best weather conditions as far as corrected air with the altitude. The track was really cold and did not have a lot of traction early in the run. (Crew chief) Dick LaHaie adjusted the car perfectly and we were able to get down the track. The traction in the middle makes this one of the tightest and best tracks we run on all season. Obviously the track and conditions are totally different, but the numbers we ran were similar to two weeks ago when we ran in Atlanta. The car picked the front end up at the start and kept picking up one of the front wheels from the 300 to 1,000 foot mark. If you can get off the starting line well here, you have a chance of firing off a real good time."

Dixon's best qualifying effort of his career here at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park was his pole-winning, national record elapsed-time run of 4.665 seconds set in 1995. In his five previous trips to the New Jersey track, Dixon has never qualified lower than the No. 6 position.

If Dixon manages to maintain his hold of the pole when qualifying concludes on Saturday, it will mark the first time he has produced a No. 1 qualifying effort since the Castrol Nationals in Dallas (April 29, 1999).

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie