Persistent rains postpone Top Fuel Shootout. Dixon stays in No. 2 position - 4.576 E.T., 324.98 MPH POMONA, Ca (Nov. 9) - The Top Fuel Shootout originally intended to run on Saturday has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003, due to ...
Persistent rains postpone Top Fuel Shootout.
Dixon stays in No. 2 position - 4.576 E.T., 324.98 MPH
POMONA, Ca (Nov. 9) - The Top Fuel Shootout originally intended to run on Saturday has been postponed until Saturday, Feb. 8, 2003, due to persistent rain that has plagued the Southern California area for the last two days, but the with the prediction of clearing weather for Sunday, the Auto Club NHRA Finals will be held as scheduled.
The Miller Lite Snake Racing team, which had hoped to debut their one-of-kind 40th Anniversary 'Snake Skin' dragster, will have to wait until the start of the 2003 NHRA POWERade season along with 2002 Top Fuel champion, Larry Dixon, to receive their opportunity to repeat as the Top Fuel Shootout champions.
Dixon and the Miller Lite team will stay in the No. 2 qualifying position after their run of 4.576 seconds, 324.98 mph during Thursday's qualifying and will race Scott Weis in the first round of eliminations. "It's not as unique as when we went to Dallas, didn't get any qualifying runs and just raced on Sunday," said Dixon, the winner of nine Top Fuel contests in 2002. "Obviously, the weather isn't cooperating with us, but NHRA is trying to do the best they can with what they've got to work with. I'm no more disappointed than anybody else that we didn't get to run the 'Shootout' today.
"We've got a good car and all the other cars that are in the deal are pretty strong. I would have liked to get it in, but I guess we're running it next year. I'm in a better situation than some of the other guys that might not have rides that are in it next year. We'll take it as it goes. I woke up this morning and thought we were going to race and didn't, we'll wake up tomorrow and hopefully we can race."
Veteran crew chief, Dick LaHaie has faced race day situations like this before and is unfazed by the rainy predicament. His game plan for Sunday is to use his proven race strategies instead of bravado. "A couple of years ago in Dallas we didn't get any qualifying runs in and they qualified us on our point standings," said LaHaie. "It turned out okay, as we went to the semis. You just have to be real cautious on a green racetrack especially after it's had rain on it and the rubber is loose. We haven't had that situation much, so we're going to have to be real careful up there. This thing is pretty powerful and we don't want to smoke the tires."
The Auto Club NHRA Finals will take the green light promptly at 11 a.m. PT with ESPN carrying the early rounds of eliminations from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. ET followed by ESPN2's coverage of the final rounds starting at 7:00 p.m. ET