Baytown: Larry Dixon final qualifying report

From The Snake Pit Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 4 for Sunday's NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals. Dixon enjoys 30-race first round win streak & 15-1 elimination record. BAYTOWN, TEX. (April 13) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing ...

From The Snake Pit
Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon qualifies No. 4 for Sunday's NHRA O'Reilly Spring Nationals.

Dixon enjoys 30-race first round win streak & 15-1 elimination record.

BAYTOWN, TEX. (April 13) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon drove Don Prudhomme's Snake Racing Miller Lite Dragster to the No. 4 qualifying position for Sunday's O'Reilly Spring Nationals with his lap of 4.630 seconds at 319.98 mph set on Saturday.

The Miller Lite team launched the final day of qualifying from the No. 4 spot with a lap of 4.632 seconds (320.51 mph) recorded on Friday night. It would not take long for Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie to improve on that number as they posted low elapsed time of Saturday's opening session with a pass of 4.630 seconds (319.98 mph). The fourth and final attempt to climb the qualifying ladder saw Dixon test the limits of the race track, but was too aggressive and shut off to an elapsed time of 10.711 seconds (84.61 mph).

When eliminations begin at 11:00 AM CT Sunday, Dixon will take on No. 13 qualifier Mitch King in the opening round where he will put his 30-race first round unbeaten streak to the test. It will be the first meeting between Dixon and the Galveston, Texas-based driver. The last time Dixon suffered a first-round defeat was at HRP in October 2000.

Prior to today, Dixon had qualified no worse than second this season (Phoenix) while he has earned three No. 1 qualifying efforts (Pomona, Gainesville, Las Vegas). His career track record includes two wins and a runner-up finish in his last four events and is 16-9 in elimination rounds at HRP over his eight-year career.

"Yesterday we started qualifying off smoking the tires and that kind of put us a little behind," said Dixon. "You know that the second session is going to be the best one of the weekend as far as qualifying goes, so we have to set the car up safe so we make a good, solid run to get us in the field. That's more important than getting the pole. Making a run at the pole is nice if you're already qualified fourth because you can fall back on it. But, we were 13th going into that session and we were looking to move up. We did that, we ran a 4.63 at 320 mph and it was good because I felt real comfortable knowing that we were in the field for Saturday and we could start working on our race day set up. Our runs today, on our first run we had a 4.63 and there wasn't anyone within a tenth in the first session of us. That made us feel real good and we actually improved our time under worse track conditions. That was real promising. I think the left lane is a little better than the right. I think a 4.63-flat will probably win any round tomorrow whether it's the first, second, semis or the final. The conditions will be a little bit tough to get the car down the race track, but I have all the confidence in the world with Dick LaHaie."

Hall of Fame driver and three-car team owner Prudhomme is a three-time winner (2 as a driver) at Houston and is currently celebrating his 40th Anniversary season after claiming his first career win at the Smokers March Meet (Bakersfield, Calif.) in 1962. He has 80 wins overall in his illustrious career (49 driver, 31 owner).

- www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie , Mitch King