Pomona 2: Dixon Thursday qualifying report

From The Snake Pit Larry Dixon Sits No. 4 After Thursday'S Qualifying Under The Lights At NHRA 50TH Anniversary Nationals At Pomona POMONA, CA (July 5) - Larry Dixon kicked off the opening day of the historic Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary ...

From The Snake Pit

Larry Dixon Sits No. 4 After Thursday'S Qualifying Under The Lights At NHRA 50TH Anniversary Nationals At Pomona

POMONA, CA (July 5) - Larry Dixon kicked off the opening day of the historic Pep Boys NHRA 50th Anniversary Nationals with a lap of 4.650 seconds at 296.89 mph Thursday evening to qualify the Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Lite Dragster in the No. 4 spot while racing under the lights at Pomona Raceway.

The Miller Lite Team's first shot at the newly resurfaced quarter mile came in the left lane where Dixon posted low elapsed time of the session with his run of 4.690 seconds at 311.27 mph. Dixon was not surprised by his quickness coming straight out of the box.

"That was real nice," said Dixon. "The weather conditions that we have here aren't much different than what we have been running on in St. Louis and Columbus. Our can ran pretty good at those events, so we have a similar scenario at a brand new racetrack, which gives you the same kind of conditions as a hot, greasy-type track. We just went out and slid it down there to get a baseline run and it did what we thought it would do."

Dixon's second attempt later in the evening improved his time by (.04) four hundredths of a second, however the pass of 4.650 seconds at 296.89 mph reflected a tossed blower belt, which resulted in a loss of horsepower, possibly costing the team the early top qualifier position.

"The car looked like it was going to run a 4.61 or .62 and we lost the blower belt," said Dixon. "But we have a real good car and as the track, rubber and all that starts to build up, we'll be able to stand on the gas. I don't think a 4.63 will stand up as low, not at all because by the time we run tomorrow night at this time, a .63 might be fifth. There are some good cars that can run good and hopefully we'll be one of them."

Dixon is averaging a No. 3 qualifying start after the first half of the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, and has qualified among the top three Top Fuel dragsters after 10 of the first 12 events this year. The last time Dixon secured a low qualifier effort was May 2000 (Englishtown). His best finish at Pomona came at the 1998 Winternationals when he collected his sixth career Top Fuel victory. Making the win even sweeter was the double-up effort of both Snake Racing drivers as teammate Ron Capps took the Funny Car crown.

The last time Dixon raced at Pomona Raceway was at the 2001 season-opening Winternationals where he qualified No. 3 and went on to a semifinal finish. Dixon trails Kenny Bernstein by 80 points for the Top Fuel lead. The Miller Lite Driver has reached four final rounds this season, including wins at Gainesville, FL, and Columbus, Ohio. Two qualifying sessions remain on Friday and are scheduled for 4:45 and 8:00 PM PT. Qualifying rounds will be televised on ESPN2 on Friday from 7:30-8:30 PM ET while the finals will air Saturday from 10:00 PM-1:00 AM ET.

- www.snakeracing.com -

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Don Prudhomme