POMONA, CA. (Feb. 4) - Larry Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie proved that Thursday's No. 2 qualifying effort was not a fluke as the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster came within one-thousandth of a second of the No. 1 qualifying position...
POMONA, CA. (Feb. 4) - Larry Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie proved that Thursday's No. 2 qualifying effort was not a fluke as the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster came within one-thousandth of a second of the No. 1 qualifying position Friday with a pass of 4.657 seconds at 311.92 mph to remain qualified second overall at the 40th Annual Autozone Winternationals.
Dixon's second qualifying effort here at the Winternationals, the first event of the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, saw him improve .084 seconds and 5.66 mph as LaHaie and the Miller Lite Team seem to have a grasp of the NHRA's newly implemented 90 percent nitro rule.
"I am really excited," said an enthusiastic Dixon. "LaHaie told me he was just going to tickle it to run a .69 or a .70, so to see a .65 on the scoreboard was a pleasant surprise. Am I disappointed about missing the top spot by one thou? No, because once everyone gets a handle on the 90% and their tune-ups, it's going to take a high 4.50 to get the pole."
Dixon was not surprised by the improvement in the performance of the Miller Lite Dragster, given the track record of his renowned crew chief. "LaHaie's forte is consistency. While everyone else is out there firing shots, he doesn't do that. Every move he makes is thought out and I think he has a good baseline for us tomorrow."
Gary Scelzi's pass of 4.656 seconds nicked Dixon by .001 of a second for the pole position. LaHaie will have another chance to climb the ladder with the final two qualifying laps on Saturday scheduled for 12:15 and 4 pm.
Dixon, 33, begins his sixth season in the driver's seat and has eight NHRA national event wins in 18 final round appearances after his 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year campaign.