POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8) Larry Dixon & the Don Prudhomme Snake Racing Miller Lite Dragster improved to sixth overall with a lap of 4.655 seconds at 312.42 mph after the second day of qualifying at the 42nd Annual K&N Filters NHRA ...
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 8) Larry Dixon & the Don Prudhomme Snake Racing Miller Lite Dragster improved to sixth overall with a lap of 4.655 seconds at 312.42 mph after the second day of qualifying at the 42nd Annual K&N Filters NHRA Winternationals.
Crew Chief Dick LaHaie tamed the Miller car down a bit for Friday's qualifying session to ensure a good baseline tune-up for the remainder of the weekend after Dixon kicked off the 2002 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing season on Thursday with a pass of 9.982 seconds, qualifying 15th overall after overpowering the left lane of Pomona Raceway.
Dixon rocketed off the starting line, dropped a cylinder, and cruised down the right lane, improving nine spots up the provisional ladder with his 4.655-second pass. Andrew Cowin is the early low-qualifier with his track record pass of 4.490 seconds at 324.98 mph.
LaHaie was not surprised at all to see the first 4.4-second pass come on just the second day of the new season. "No, I expected us to do it on our run today," said LaHaie. "We actually thought we could do it yesterday but we realized we couldn't run the car the way we were thinking about running it. So, we had it back it down a little today and get down the racetrack. We'll see what we can do tomorrow, but we may not have to run a 40 to get the job done."
Tuner LaHaie explained his thoughts about the obstacles he faces making the transition from test sessions to race mode. "It's really not any different than going from race to race to race during he regular season," said the 1987 Top Fuel World Champion driver. "It's all about going back, looking at your records and tuning for the racetrack and the weather. Everything is different though because you start off the year with a clean sheet. We have a new combination and a new tire. But I never really think about going back, I always try to look forward."
Hall of Fame driver and three-car team owner Prudhomme is a seven-time winner (5 as a driver) at Pomona and is currently celebrating his 40th Anniversary season after claiming his first career win at the Smokers March Meet (Bakersfield, Calif.) in 1962.
Only two more qualifying sessions remain on Saturday before Sunday's elimination round. Qualifying action will be televised on Saturday, Feb. 9 from 4:30-6:00 PM ET (ESPN) and will continue from 6:00-7:00 PM ET (ESPN 2). Sunday's elimination rounds will air on Sunday, Feb. 10 from 5:00-7:00 PM ET (ESPN).