Dixon Falls in Close Opening Round Match at Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2004) -- Two-time consecutive NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon failed in his bid to become the first Top Fuel driver to win the Southern Nationals title in three...
Dixon Falls in Close Opening Round Match at Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 16, 2004) -- Two-time consecutive NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon failed in his bid to become the first Top Fuel driver to win the Southern Nationals title in three straight seasons Sunday when the Miller Lite driver lost a close opening round battle to Clay Millican at Atlanta Dragway.
For the second consecutive race, Dixon's Miller-backed dragster made up one-half of the first pair of race cars to begin final round eliminations. Dixon, who qualified eighth, used a starting-line advantage and powered his 'Vote Miller for President of Beers' dragster to run of 4.608 seconds at 321.50 mph. However, Millican's dragster was slightly quicker, racing to a run of 4.560 at 320.51 to earn the close victory.
"From my standpoint being in the first pair isn't that big of a deal," Dixon said. "My job is the same if we're the first pair or last pair of cars to go down the track. Now, that might be different for (Dick) LaHaie. When you qualify eighth, you're going to run a car that ran exactly the same as you and that car is totally capable of beating you. We had a clutch malfunction on that run and we got outrun. It could have happened in the second round or the final round, but it happened.
"We didn't lose any ground to (Tony) Schumacher this week. There are 16 races left and we're 13 rounds out of the lead. If we make up a round a race, we'll be in good shape."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the seventh annual Route 66 NHRA Nationals, May 20-23, at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.