Atlanta: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

From The Snake Pit Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 5 for Sunday's Southern Nationals Elimination round. COMMERCE, GA. (May 4) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon used his pass of 4.600 seconds...

From The Snake Pit

Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 5 for Sunday's Southern Nationals Elimination round.

COMMERCE, GA. (May 4) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon used his pass of 4.600 seconds (322.96 mph) recorded on Friday to qualify the Miller Lite Snake Racing Dragster in the No. 5 position and has a date with No. 12 Luigi Novelli for Sunday's opening round of the 22nd Annual Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Rain again delayed the day's action for several hours, however two qualifying sessions were held under the lights for the second straight evening. Dixon's first pass looked to be a strong one until a minor part broke early in the run and caused the car's clutch system to malfunction. Realizing something was wrong, Dixon shut down with no time recorded due to a problem with the on-track timing system. The later session put Dixon back into the right lane and he again appeared to be on a great pass until succumbing to tire shake (9.151 seconds/90.02 mph).

"It's Saturday and we are qualified," said Dixon. "We had a couple of things happen, the car shaking the tires. A couple of things broke on the car and forced us to throw away the run. The way I look at it, I am glad it isn't on race day. We need to get out there and fix everything. I feel very confident in our team, our crew, and we will get ready for race day."

Dixon has won four of the first six races of the season and has enjoyed the point lead all year. He has earned four No. 1 qualifier awards in 2002 and also leads the Top Fuel class for the $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout to be held at the Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov. 9).

As the No. 5 qualifier, Dixon will square off against No. 12 Novelli in Sunday's elimination round which is scheduled for an 11 AM ET start. The Miller Lite Team has a 1-0 mark over Novelli in the only meeting between the two teams. Dixon has won once at Atlanta Dragway with his 1996 victory over Mike Dunn.

- www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Luigi Novelli