PHOENIX (Feb. 25) - With the first day of qualifying complete at the Checker - Schuck's - Kragen Nationals, Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster claimed the second quickest lap of the day to earn the No. 2 position in the...
PHOENIX (Feb. 25) - With the first day of qualifying complete at the Checker - Schuck's - Kragen Nationals, Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster claimed the second quickest lap of the day to earn the No. 2 position in the field of 20 top fuel cars with their pass of 4.66 seconds at 310.84 mph.
Dixon, the 1995 Phoenix champ, began the day with a pass of 4.730 seconds at 307.72 mph to sit in the No. 4 spot overall after the first session. It was learned after the run that if it had not been for a loose fuel line, the Miller Lite Team might have qualified even better after the day's first lap.
"It probably would have run a 4.70 or something like that," said Dixon. "There weren't too many cars that went down the racetrack when we went up there. We just wanted to make sure we were on the safe side of going down the racetrack without smoking the tires. When you smoke the tires, you don't learn anything. So from there, it's all (crew chief) Dick LaHaie. That's his style. He would rather give up some E.T. to be sure he can get the car down the racetrack."
Fans at Firebird Raceway were treated to the best side-by-side lap of the day during Dixon's second effort (4.66 @ 310.84), which netted him the No. 2 spot while Gary Scelzi simultaneously earned the pole position with the day's best pass of 4.57 seconds.
"On our second run, obviously we fixed the fuel line and worked on some of the blatant problems that we had and it went down there and it ran a .66," said Dixon. "We improved our 60-foot times and overall, we just picked it up. Obviously we were against Scelzi and he ran really well, but we are the number two qualifier right now and if we just continue on this pace, we will be right where we wanted to be coming into this race and that would be having a top two car."
Dixon, who posted the first win of his career at Firebird, is in his sixth season behind the wheel and has eight NHRA national event wins in 18 final round appearances after his 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year campaign.