DIXON DRIVES MILLER LITE DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. Calif. (Aug. 14, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon raced to his fifth final-round appearance of the season Sunday where the 37-time NHRA winner...
DIXON DRIVES MILLER LITE DRAGSTER TO RUNNER-UP FINISH AT BRAINERD
BRAINERD, Minn. Calif. (Aug. 14, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon raced to his fifth final-round appearance of the season Sunday where the 37-time NHRA winner drove his Miller Lite dragster to a runner-up finish at Brainerd International Raceway (B.I.R.).
Dixon, who qualified his Miller Lite/Ameriquest dragster in the No. 6 position on Saturday at B.I.R., knocked off No. 11 qualifier Melanie Troxel, David Grubnic and veteran racer Doug Herbert, before falling to Doug Kalitta in the final round.
Dixon used a run of 4.804 seconds at 239.53 mph to knock off Troxel in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations. Dixon's rail dropped a cylinder and lost a blower belt on the run, however, Troxel's dragster lost traction early in the run.
Dixon then used a tune-up from veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie to blast to the quickest and fastest pass of round two as the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year blistered the B.I.R. quarter mile in 4.557 at 327.74 to edge Grubnic's 4.616, 324.75-effort and advance to the semifinals for the second consecutive race.
In the semis, Dixon drove his LaHaie-tuned rail to a second consecutive 4.557-second pass to score the win over Herbert. Dixon posted a run of 4.557 at 328.28, while Herbert's rail lost traction down track and slowed to a run of 4.993 at 246.53.
In his 68th career final-round appearance, Dixon's Miller Lite dragster lost traction early in the run, allowing Kalitta to drive past and score the victory. The Miller Lite/Lucas Oil car posted a pass of 6.799 at 119.62, while Kalitta earned the win with a run of 4.593 at 325.92.
"Coming into this race, we had hoped to shake some ground off of the points deficit, but we weren't able to do that," Dixon said. "For some reason or another, the car didn't respond like they wanted it to."
Dixon remains third in the POWERade Top Fuel standings, 144 behind Kalitta with seven races remaining on the schedule. The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 18th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals, Aug. 19-21, at Memphis Motorsports Park in Millington, Tenn. Dixon is a two-time winner of the Memphis race (2002, 2004) and has advanced to the final round at Memphis the past five season! s.