Topeka: Dixon earns 20th career Low Qualifier award

TOPEKA, KS (May 24) - Defending POWERade NHRA Champion, Larry Dixon gained his first No.1 qualifying position of the season, the second at Heartland Park (2002) and the 20th of his career Saturday during the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland...

TOPEKA, KS (May 24) - Defending POWERade NHRA Champion, Larry Dixon gained his first No.1 qualifying position of the season, the second at Heartland Park (2002) and the 20th of his career Saturday during the O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.

The first pass saw Dixon drive the Miller Lite dragster to a 4.588-second run at 324.67 mph. Moments before the second pass, both Dixon and Kenny Bernstein, the two remaining drivers of the 17-car field, were directed by NHRA officials to shut down after it started to rain.

Fortunately Dixon's lap of 4.509 posted on Friday was enough to secure the low qualifier award, and further supported the decision made by crew chief Dick LaHaie to forgo the option of running a second lap after the track was dried.

"Our cold track program worked really good last night. We needed it to work in the hot weather, which is what we were hoping for, and that was it. For us to go out there and run (the optional second session), it would be like massaging our ego's, is what it would amount to."

When asked how he felt about the decision not to run, Dixon is quick to support LaHaie no matter the cause. "LaHaie makes all the calls, and I'm cool with it. If he doesn't feel we have anything to gain from it, learning wise for tomorrow, then we won't run," said Dixon. "He's got me this far and I'm not about to start second guessing him now."

The first round of Sunday qualifying will pair Dixon and the Don Prudhomme Miller Lite dragster against No.16 qualifier Chris Karamesines, weather conditions allowing.

"I have no idea what's it's (the weather) going to be like tomorrow. I never watch," Dixon says. "I still have to be here, rain or shine."

Catch ESPN2 on Monday May 26th, for eliminations and finals at 3:30-6PM (ET). Tomorrow don't forget to watch the premiere of "Junkyard Mega-Wars: Speedway Showdown" on TLC at 9PM and Midnight ET/PT.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Dick LaHaie