DIXON RACES TO PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (2002-03) Larry Dixon blasted his Miller Lite dragster to the top qualifying position Friday at Gateway International...
DIXON RACES TO PROVISIONAL TOP SPOT FOR SECOND STRAIGHT WEEK
MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (2002-03) Larry Dixon blasted his Miller Lite dragster to the top qualifying position Friday at Gateway International Raceway after clocking a run of 4.614 seconds at 321.88 mph.
Faced with the most adverse conditions of the 2005 NHRA season, Dixon's Miller Lite/Ameriquest rail cruised to a performance of 5.009 seconds at 233.84 mph to open qualifying Friday evening at the ninth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals. The dragster lost a blower belt near mid-track causing the car to coast to the 5.00-second pass. The scorching summer temperatures reached 98 degrees in the St. Louis-area on Friday afternoon and the track temperature was more than 120 degrees on the first qualifying pass.
Under the lights at the multipurpose facility, Dixon used a tune-up from veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie to blister the Gateway Int'l Raceway quarter mile in 4.614 at 321.88 to claim the provisional No. 1 qualifying position for the second straight week. Dixon recorded a 4.482-second elapsed time last Friday in New Jersey to earn his 25th career No. 1 qualifying spot.
"It was a good run," Dixon said. "We just wanted to go down the track. The car spun the tires on the first run and lost a blower belt. We needed to calm the setup down to ensure we got in the show. That will keep us qualified. We needed that. We don't get much help in this town. Tomorrow should be better. I don't think that will hold. I think you'll need a high 4.50 for the pole."
Dixon looks to earn his second consecutive and 26th career No. 1 qualifying position when qualifying continues Saturday at 6 and 9 p.m. (CT). The veteran rail driver has claimed two No. 1 qualifying awards this season (Columbus and Englishtown, N.J.).