Dallas: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

DALLAS, Texas (Oct.11) -- Defending POWERade NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon's pass of 4.563 seconds (326.56 mph) kept him qualified at No.2 headed into Sunday final eliminations at the 18th Annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas ...

DALLAS, Texas (Oct.11) -- Defending POWERade NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon's pass of 4.563 seconds (326.56 mph) kept him qualified at No.2 headed into Sunday final eliminations at the 18th Annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

The Snake Racing/Miller Lite dragster paired against Clay Millican in the third round of qualifying. Dixon drove until the 330-foot mark on the all-cement track, before hazing the tires and shutting it off. The Don Prudhomme dragster posted a time of 6.321-seconds at 137.86 mph, to Millican's 5.465 ET/173.64 mph.

"We're taking different approaches," said crew chief Dick LaHaie, "and trying to save testing time in January. Because we have the points lead, we're able to do it and it looks like we're making some headway."

The LaHaie-lead team ran strong in the final round of qualifying, with a win over Clay Millican. Miller Lite driver secured his No. 2 position and posted the quickest time of the session with a time of 4.563-seconds at 326.56 mph, over Millican's time of 7.720/95.61 mph.

In 2001 Dixon made his second quickest run here at Texas Motorplex by defeating Doug Kalitta in the finals with a time of 4.500-seconds. The Snake Racing driver was the first to break the 4.4-second barrier four years ago in Baytown, Texas (4.486 seconds, April 9, 1999). The Miller Lite team looks for its ninth win of the season this weekend and also the 2003 NHRA Championship title.

"It's possible we could clench tomorrow," said LaHaie, "if Kalitta loses and we win (first round) it's over." Assistant crew chief Donnie Bender agreed, "If he Kalitta loses any round and fails to set the national speed record, it's over." With a smile LaHaie concluded, "We haven't started celebrating yet but the fat lady should be singing tomorrow afternoon."

For the first time in his eight-year career, the Snake Racing driver will take on No.15 qualifier Bill Ancona in round one of Sunday final eliminations.

Sunday's eliminations are scheduled for an 11:00 AM start. ESPN2 will air final round coverage of the 18th Annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals airing on Sunday from 5:00-6:00 PM ET, proceeded by one hour of final round action at the 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals held in Reading, PA.

-www.snakeracing.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Dick LaHaie