Pomona: Dixon qualifies in top four

Larry Dixon and the DonPrudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster opened the 2000 AAA of Southern California NHRA World Finals Thursday with a lap of 4.71 seconds at 308 mph to qualify in the No. 4 position at Pomona Raceway. In the only qualifying ...

Larry Dixon and the DonPrudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster opened the 2000 AAA of Southern California NHRA World Finals Thursday with a lap of 4.71 seconds at 308 mph to qualify in the No. 4 position at Pomona Raceway.

In the only qualifying session of the day for the 20-car Top Fuel field, Dixon was matched against season champion Gary Scelzi in the final pairing of the afternoon.  The 10-time national event winner showed that he was on his game early as he posted the quickest reaction time of the session (.482) en route to his lap of 4.711 seconds at 308.43 mph.  Scelzi, who was running alongside Dixon in the right lane, took the pole with a time of 4.617 seconds at 311.77 mph.

"I really like this track and have grown to love racing here," said Dixon, who was raised in Southern California watching his father Larry Sr. drive in the 1960s and 70s.  "I have had some success here winning national events and Bud Shootouts, so there have been a lot of laughs here at Pomona.  There is definitely a comfort zone I have when I run here.  I feel really good when I come here and I think that relates to how I drive the car, how I leave (the starting line) and how the car performs overall.  I just love racing here."

The Miller Lite/Raybestos pilot enters this weekend's race ranked No. 2 (1,550) in the Winston Top Fuel points race, 226 points behind leader GaryScelzi (1,776) and 13 points ahead of third place Tony Schumacher (1,537) who has made his return to racing this weekend. 

Three qualifying sessions remain from Friday through Saturday, as well  
as Saturday's Top Fuel Shootout featuring the top eight performing Top  
Fuel teams during qualifying throughout the 2000 season.  Dixon is     
the No. 5 seed for Saturday's $100,000 winner-take-all event and is     
scheduled to meet No. 4 seed Kenny Bernstein in the first round of the  
Shootout.                                                              

Dixon's top qualifying effort of his career at the World Finals was his pole winning effort in 1997.  His best finish at the season finale was his runner-up effort to Blaine Johnson during his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1995.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi