Dixon posts semifinal finish at Brainerd NHRA lucas oil nationals. BRAINERD, MINN. (AUG. 17) --Reining POWERade NHRA champion Larry Dixon posted a semifinal finish in the Snake Racing/ Miller Lite Dragster at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in ...
Dixon posts semifinal finish at Brainerd NHRA lucas oil nationals.
BRAINERD, MINN. (AUG. 17) --Reining POWERade NHRA champion Larry Dixon posted a semifinal finish in the Snake Racing/ Miller Lite Dragster at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd Minnesota Sunday while remaining the NHRA Top Fuel points leader at 271-points ahead.
The first round of Sunday eliminations paired Dixon and the Don Prudhomme dragster against No.16 qualifier Joe Hartley. Hartley ran a 4.957 E.T. (297.35 mph), no match for Dixon's 4.682-second run at 319.98 mph.
For the fifth time of his career, Dixon faced No.10 qualifier Jim Smith. Dixon improved upon his career mark making it 6-0 with a time of 4.674 E.T. (318.09 mph) over Smith's 5.350-second lap (229.04 mph).
In the semifinals the Miller Lite dragster pulled alongside No.3 qualifier Tony Schumacher, Dixon holding a 19-11career advantage over the Army car. The Don Prudhomme dragster had reached the semifinals and beyond 13 times out of 16 races this season, capturing eight wins and a career 33 total for Dixon.
But the advantage was given to Schumacher once a cylinder went out in the Miller Lite car. Dixon powered it till the end posting a 4.714 E.T at 309.27 mph just shy of Schumacher's 4.669 E.T at 310.98 mph.
"The last race we lost was in St. Louis because a cylinder went out," said crew chief Dick LaHaie. "Now I'm getting a little irritated. I thought we had taken enough fuel away that we didn't have to think about it. It's just another one of those could've, would've, should've things. In any case, it ran as well as the No. 4 car did only on seven cylinders."
Although Dixon seized the No. 1 qualifier award and both low E.T./ top speed of the race (4.638 seconds/321.42 mph), his hopes of becoming the third Top Fuel driver in NHRA history to win four consecutive races ended in Brainerd during the semifinals.
Still, no one can take away his Western Swing (W-Denver, W- Seattle, W-Sonoma) spot in the records books or the winning momentum of the Snake Racing team; LaHaie hoping the loss will only make the team stronger. "It would've been nice to head into Indy with another win under our belt but maybe it'll make us a little more hungry."
Catch the Snake Racing team back in action at home in Indy for the 49th Annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug.27-Sept 1st.