DIXON RACES TO QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT WINTERNATIONALS AFTER POSTING CAREER-BEST E.T. IN QUALIFYING POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and 35-time NHRA winner Larry Dixon recorded the quickest run of his ...
DIXON RACES TO QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT WINTERNATIONALS AFTER POSTING CAREER-BEST E.T. IN QUALIFYING
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and 35-time NHRA winner Larry Dixon recorded the quickest run of his career (4.481-seconds) at the 2005 NHRA season-opener highlighting the quickest field in NHRA history for his Miller Lite team before posting a quarterfinal finish Sunday at Pomona Raceway.
Dixon, a three time Winternationals winner (1998, 2002-03), qualified his Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster in the No. 6 position with the 4.481-second blast Saturday afternoon at the storied Southern California drag strip. After posting two 4.4-second passes to complete qualifying, Dixon used a tune-up from veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie to blast his Miller Lite/Ameriquest rail to a performance of 4.509 seconds at 330.15 mph to dispose of first round opponent Cory McClenathan on Sunday.
"Obviously we're working towards the goal of being a top five car and we're real close to that," Dixon said. "From Indy on, last season, our progress has continually improved and I think that showed by the numbers that we posted this weekend."
Dixon then used a starting-line advantage to take the early lead over round-two competitor Scott Kalitta before the Miller-backed dragster overpowered the track and slowed to a pass of 9.969 at 93.16, while Kalitta stopped the timers in 4.471 at 329.91, the quickest pass of the second round. Following the first of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events, Dixon is tied for sixth place.
"We tried to step it up too much," assistant crew chief Don Bender said. "We gave it too much motor and clutch and it didn't want both, but it's something we can learn from. We're still learning this new engine combo. We had a good weekend. The car is running good."
Dixon and the Miller Lite/Lucas Oil team will head east on I-10 to the Valley of the Sun for the 21st annual Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Feb. 25-27, at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Dixon scored his first career victory at F.I.R. in 1995. It was the 50th victory of Prudhomme's racing career and first as an owner.