Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Dragster win second consecutive Summer National and regain points lead. ATLANTA, GA. (May 4)- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending champion, Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite team collected their second ...
Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Dragster win second consecutive Summer National and regain points lead.
ATLANTA, GA. (May 4)- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending champion, Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite team collected their second consecutive Southern Nationals win by defeating Darrell Russell in the final round. In addition to winning the title by posting a 4.569 (323.89 mph) finish, Dixon also regained the NHRA POWERade point's lead.
Dixon began the day as the No. 5 qualifier taking on No. 12 qualifier Mike Smith in the opening round of eliminations. Dixon used a lap of 4.650 seconds at 310.20 mph to defeat Smith's effort of 4.918 seconds at 235.10 mph. Round 2 of the finals paired Dixon against John Smith. 96.12 mph was no match for Dixon's 327.98 mph /4.562 E.T. Next would be No. 9 qualifier Clay Millican. Once again, Dixon posted a 4.570 second finish (322.50 mph), overcoming Millican's time of 4.910/240.72 mph. Dixon then advanced to the finals where he defeated Darrell Russell.
The win marked Dixon's 28th career victory and 50th appearance in the finals (28 wins and 23 losses). He is currently ranked No.4 all time with 28 Top Fuel wins, is No.1 among active Top Fuel Pilots and sits No.14 on the NHRA's all time win list.
"After everything we went though on Saturday night," Dixon, referring to the crash in Bristol the previous weekend, "I was more proud of the guys then, than winning here because of everything they went through. Basically nobody has had any time off and barely any sleep. They put in all this time and effort, just to see the win light. And for that, I'm just happy for the guys."
Quite possibly the most satisfied person of all was crew chief Dick LaHaie. "Big relief," said LaHaie, "big relief. We let two races slip away from tire smoke at the starting line, and today we said we couldn't do that. This is a great car and I expect to win, because I know how great the team is. And when stuff goes wrong, I take it personal. I expect to be the best."
Dixon added, "We change motors every week, to be able to make it repeat like that; new clutch, new motor new heads, everything, every run. And to have it run within a few thousandths, it just tells you what a great job we do."
With the win, Dixon reclaimed the point's lead, after having previously held it for a NHRA record 28 consecutive race weeks. But Dixon is quick to downplay the numbers. "You just have to leading the points after Pomona. It doesn't matter where you collect them, just so long as you collect them."
Dixon and the Miller Lite Dragster will have another chance to collect some points when they visit Englishtown New Jersey (May 15-18th) for the 34th Annual K&N Filters NHRA Supernationals.