DIXON FINISHES 10TH DURING RAIN-SHORTED JOLIET QUALIFYING JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2006) & ...
DIXON FINISHES 10TH DURING RAIN-SHORTED JOLIET QUALIFYING
JOLIET, Ill. (June 10, 2006) Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon raced his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster to the No. 10 qualifying spot Saturday at Route 66 Raceway during a rain-shortened qualifying effort at the ninth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals. Only three of the four scheduled qualifying sessions were completed after intermittent rain showers on Saturday forced NHRA officials to c! ancel the final qualifying session for the four professional categories.
Dixon, who won at Joliet in 2002, raced to his quickest run of qualifying Friday evening under the lights at the record-setting Joliet track when he used a tune-up from crew chief Don Bender to clock a performance of 4.540 seconds at 325.30 mph in his Miller Lite/Lucas Oil rail. On Saturday's only attempt, Dixon raced to a run of 4.564 at 326.00 following a lengthy rain delay where the Miller Lite dragster was started for a brief moment, before rain drops caused the motor to be shut off. Dixon qualified sixth en route to a semifinal finish at Joliet! last June.
"We had a clutch malfunction on the last run, so it should have been quicker," Dixon said. "We were shooting for a 4.50. If we fix that, we'll try to make the run we were shooting for on Saturday. I don't think the rain had anything to do with it, it was a parts malfunction."
Dixon will battle No. 7 qualifier Bob Vandergriff Jr. in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations which begin at 11 a.m. (CT) on Sunday morning at Route 66 Raceway. Dixon is 13-5 in his career versus the Georgia driver.