From The Snake Pit Larry Dixon and The Snake Racing/Miller Lite Team triumphs - sets records - extends points lead on Father's Day at National Trail Raceway. Dixon scores seventh win - widens point margin to 259. COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 16)...
From The Snake Pit
Larry Dixon and The Snake Racing/Miller Lite Team triumphs - sets records - extends points lead on Father's Day at National Trail Raceway.
Dixon scores seventh win - widens point margin to 259.
COLUMBUS, Ohio (June 16) -NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon triumphed, set more records and extended his Top Fuel lead on his way to repeating in the Miller Lite/Snake Racing Dragster on Father's Day as champion of the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway. He scored his seventh win of the 2002 NHRA POWERade championship drag racing season by defeating Doug Herbert with his best time and speed of the weekend, running a time of 4.619 seconds along with a speed of 319.14 mph in the final round of eliminations.
By winning the race, Dixon extends his NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point lead to 259 over his chief rival, Kenny Bernstein in the quest of his first championship title as well as the first for car owner Don Prudhomme since 1978, during his dominating Funny Car era. In accomplishing the duplicate feat at Columbus, he joined the elite company of encore winners - Shirley Muldowney ('76-77), Scott Kalitta ('94-95), and his boss, the legendary Don "The Snake" Prudhomme ('91-92). Now Dixon ('01-02) can add his name to the prestigious list.
Also a point of recognition, he tied the Top Fuel record of most consecutive final round appearances of six, matching Scott Kalitta ('94) and Cory McClenathan ('97). Dixon will be shooting to break it at the next race in St. Louis on June 30. "Our season is better than I could ever imagine," said a smiling Dixon. "In the final round, it's always tough and we couldn't take Herbert lightly. Dick LaHaie (crew chief) wanted to win this race very much, just as he has all the others."
"I look at things a little bit different now being a father. It's been a great Father's Day for me winning again and that includes "Snake" and Dick LaHaie. I'm sure that the 4.61 we ran in the final put a smile on both their faces. I know it did mine."
After starting the race from the No. 6 position with a qualifying time of 4.628 seconds, 311.49 mph, Dixon used a 4.807 ET, 290.51 mph to defeat first round opponent, Scott Weis, in the opening round of eliminations. In the quarterfinals Dixon faced tough opposition from Cory McClenathan and he took his racing adversary to task, taking him out of competition by pushing the envelope, rocketing down the dragstrip and setting low elapsed time of the round with his 4.653 ET, 302.21 mph to his opposition's 4.730 ET, 306.53 mph. The semi-final round of competition found Dixon against Tony Schumacher. With his rival losing traction right off the starting line, the Miller Lite driver jetted down the track for the round win with a time of 4.701 seconds, 302.82 mph. This once again set the pace with the quickest ET of the round and previewed his final round domination of Doug Herbert.
The win on Sunday added to the Don Prudhomme armada of victories, while his Skoal Racing Funny Car teammates and pilot, Ron Capps, also did their part by taking the title for that pro division at National Trail Raceway. Prudhomme now has a combined total of 85 career wins - 49 as a driver, 36 as a team owner (23 - Dixon, 12 - Ron Capps, 1 - Tommy Johnson Jr.).
The next NHRA national event will be the sixth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals at the Gateway International Raceway slated to run on June 28-30.