Miller Lite Team qualifies no. 4 in Texas. DALLAS (Oct. 12) - NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points leader Miller Lite / Snake Racing Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will proceed into Sunday's eliminations focused on his pursuit of his round 21 of the...
Miller Lite Team qualifies no. 4 in Texas.
DALLAS (Oct. 12) - NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points leader Miller Lite / Snake Racing Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will proceed into Sunday's eliminations focused on his pursuit of his round 21 of the 23-race NHRA schedule - the 17th annual O'Reilly Fall Nationals at NHRA's only all-concrete racing surface, the Texas Motorplex. After two runs on Saturday that saw his Miller Lite/Mac Tools dragster first improve on his first Saturday qualifying pass and then overpower the racetrack on his last attempt, the defending champion of the race remains undaunted and is eager about getting to the starting line for Sunday's race in hopes of getting his ninth win of the 2002 season and extending his 127-point lead in the championship chase.
Dixon improved on his 4.672-second time from Friday by lowering his best effort of qualifying to 4.611 seconds at a marvelous speed of 324.20 mph, placing the Miller Lite Dick LaHaie-tuned dragster in the No. 4 qualifying position. He will face Jim Cavalieri in the first round of eliminations for only the second time of his career. The last time the pair met in NHRA National event competition was at the 2000 Fram Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, Ca. where Dixon defeated him in the semi-finals.
"The 4.61 was nice, it got us in a better qualifying position," said Dixon. "The last session we tried to pick up the performance and obviously the area we were working in; there wasn't any margin and we went out there and spun the tires. We're qualified fourth, got lane choice and I'd rather that it happened today than tomorrow. We can now go out there, work on some things and prepare for the worst and hope for the best."
Weather conditions for Sunday's race should prove to be pivotal, as a major cold front is expected to push through the Texas plains on Saturday evening dropping ambient temperatures from the mid 80s to the low 60s for the race. Veteran crew chief, Dick LaHaie has been in this situation before and knows his game plan.
"We're not even going to put the engine back together until the morning," said crew chief Dick LaHaie. "Cause we want to see with our own eyes what the weather is going to be like for sure. That's when we'll adjust the compression, blower speed and timing.
"It's not any big deal - been there, done that. If we put it together and guess at it, we'll only end up taking it apart tomorrow, so we won't even try to put it together tonight.
Eliminations begin at 11:00 a.m. CDT and ESPN2 will be broadcasting the final rounds of eliminations starting on Sunday, Oct. 13 from 3:00 - 5:00 p.m.