TOp fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 2 after rain delayed first day of Southern Nationals. COMMERCE, GA. (May 3) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Snake Racing Dragster waited...
TOp fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 2 after rain delayed first day of Southern Nationals.
COMMERCE, GA. (May 3) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Snake Racing Dragster waited for several hours due to persistent rain before posting a lap of 4.600 seconds (322.96 mph) to qualify No. 2 Friday at the 22nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.
Dixon, who owns a 126-point lead in the championship hunt, was originally scheduled to make his first of two qualifying laps at 3:30 PM ET, followed by the "Friday Night Session" at 7:30. As it turned out, the Miller Lite Team would get only one shot at the North Georgia quarter mile as rain delayed Top Fuel action until approximately 9:00 PM.
Paired against nemesis Kenny Bernstein as the final pair of cars for the evening, Dixon carried the front end of his 6,500 horsepower Miller Lite/Mac Tools Dragster for at least the first 100 feet of the run before clocking in the second quickest run of the night. That pass may be very important for Dixon and crew as more rain is called for throughout Saturday.
"It was a gut feeling tonight because we knew that there were 17 cars here," said crew chief Dick LaHaie. "Being at the back of the pack like we were because of the points position, we got to watch all the cars so we knew that we could just go down the track kind of mediocre and still get qualified. We thought we had a pretty soft combination going up there, a pretty safe combination. The unknown was that we had brand new tires, which we normally don't like to do. As it turned out, the track was tight enough for the tire and we had the horsepower about right and it ran pretty good. We thought it was going to run somewhere between a 4.58-4.62 and it wore the clutch about like we thought it was going to wear."
Dixon has qualified no worse than fourth this season (Houston) and has four No. 1 qualifying efforts (Pomona, Gainesville, Las Vegas, Bristol) and a second place effort (Phoenix). His career track record at Atlanta Dragway includes a No. 2, 3, 5, 7, 9, 10 and 14 qualifying result. Two qualifying sessions remain on Saturday (11:15 AM & 3:00 PM ET) while Sunday's elimination round is scheduled for an 11 AM ET start.