Las Vegas: Sunday final summary

Dixon, Pedregon and Anderson hit jackpot at NHRA Summitracing.Com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. LAS VEGAS -- Larry Dixon increased his NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points lead by earning his second victory of the season Sunday at...

Dixon, Pedregon and Anderson hit jackpot at NHRA Summitracing.Com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

LAS VEGAS -- Larry Dixon increased his NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points lead by earning his second victory of the season Sunday at the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Tony Pedregon and Greg Anderson also were winners in their respective pro categories at the $1.8 million race, the fourth of 23 events in the $50 million NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

Dixon scored his 27th career victory and his third-straight at LVMS by outrunning top qualifier Doug Kalitta in the final round. Dixon powered his Miller Lite dragster to a performance of 4.608 seconds at 312.57 mph to hold off Kalitta's Mac Tools dragster, which clocked a 4.695 at 314.39.

"I wish we could run Vegas every week, this is awesome," said Dixon. "It's great to win today because it's Snake's (team owner Don Prudhomme's 62nd) birthday. With the win and the national speed record (332.75 mph) this weekend, it sure does take the heat off me on deciding what gift to get for him."

Dixon, who moved to fourth place on the all-time Top Fuel win list, earned round wins over Mike Strasburg, Doug Herbert and rookie David Baca to advance to the final.

In the final, Dixon was uncertain if he was indeed the winner when the small light positioned along the guardwall just past the finish line that signals the winner failed to come on. Fortunately for Dixon, it was only an electronic malfunction.

"It's so emotional out there that when I didn't see that win-light come on right away and then Doug drove by me, I just couldn't believe that we had lost the race," Dixon said. "I was trying to figure out what happened. It was such a relief to see all the cameras heading my way."

With the victory, Dixon increased his points lead to 59 over rookie sensation Brandon Bernstein, who lost in the semifinals.

Pedregon moved into the Funny Car points lead for the third time in his career with his second victory of the season and the 21st of his career when final round opponent Whit Bazemore fouled at the start in his Matco Tools Dodge Stratus.

Pedregon, who defeated John Force, Ron Capps and Gary Densham to advance to the final, drove his Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang to a final round performance of 4.916 at 283.07, even though he didn't need it.

"This wasn't a knock 'em down kind of weekend for us, so we'll take the win," Pedregon said. "We just made our own breaks and tried to keep the car in one piece. The guys did a good job of recovering between every round. The first round was really our best. We ended up with two complete engine changes during the day. The guys did their job and I'm sure John is proud of us."

Pedregon holds a 25 point lead over Densham and Bazemore moved to third in the points order with his runner-up effort.

"Bazemore and Prudhomme's guys proved today what we've been saying all along, that this is going to be a tough class all year long," Pedregon said. "They're not going anywhere and neither are we."

Anderson earned his second Pro Stock victory of the season and sixth of his career. He used a holeshot start and performance of 6.907 at 200.95 in his Vegas General Construction Pontiac Grand Am to edge the quicker ACDelco Chevy Cavalier of Kurt Johnson, which posted a 6.896 at 201.10 at the finish.

"I had a great car all weekend, and we earned this one," said Anderson, who beat defending series champion Jeg Coughlin, Barry Grant and six-time champ Warren Johnson for the final round opportunity. "Kurt did a great job too. The two best cars made it to the final. That's the way it should be, but it doesn't always happen that way. The guys did a great job preparing for this race and it showed in the results."

Anderson was extremely thrilled to give his Las Vegas resident team owner Ken Black a victory at his home track.

"I'm so happy for Ken and his entire family," Anderson said. "They've done so much for me over the past two years."

With the victory, Anderson increased his points lead to 63 over Kurt Johnson.

"It's early but it's great to be in the points lead and running at the top of the pack," Anderson said. "We're all lucky that we have families that allow us to put in the hours it takes to pursue our dream like this."

The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 16th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 10-13 at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.

-nhra-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , Tony Pedregon , Whit Bazemore , Ron Capps , John Force , Doug Kalitta , Greg Anderson , Gary Densham , Brandon Bernstein , Barry Grant , Mike Strasburg , Ken Black