BAYTOWN,TX (Mar. 26) -- While many Top Fuel teams would loved to have put together three 4.5-second runs, as well as a new career speed mark last weekend, Miller Lite Crew Chief Dick LaHaie called for his team to remain at Houston Raceway Park for...
BAYTOWN,TX (Mar. 26) -- While many Top Fuel teams would loved to have put together three 4.5-second runs, as well as a new career speed mark last weekend, Miller Lite Crew Chief Dick LaHaie called for his team to remain at Houston Raceway Park for an additional day of testing in hopes to find even more horsepower.
Driver Larry Dixon drove to a runner-up finish at Sunday's O'Reilly Nationals with a string of low E.T.s during each round of competition (4.553, 4.603, 4.558, 4.579), including a new career-best speed mark of 324.75 mph -- the fastest Dixon has run since June,1999 (321.96).
"We are testing a whole new engine combination," explained LaHaie. "The stuff we have now is very adjustable and very tunable, but we are always looking to run better and to run easier on parts. We need to figure out what we want to do and how we are going to do it."
The first test lap of the day was not helpful to LaHaie as a faulty rear tire lost a chunk of rubber during the burnout and forced the Miller Lite Team to abort the run. Dixon's second test lap would be a scheduled 400-foot squirt down the track in search of incremental numbers.
That run was the second best 60-foot time of the weekend (.842 seconds)," said LaHaie. "I told him (Larry) to run to 400 feet and he did. That time was right at the second best of the weekend and if it would have carried through, it could have run a middle 4.50 without a problem at all, so we need to just keep working with it and see what happens."
For Dixon, test sessions don't really give him the opportunity to hone his skills at the starting line as he finds himself simply in the role of driver to assist LaHaie in obtaining data. "I really don't get a whole lot out of testing," said Dixon. "All the electronics that we use at the starting line during race weekend, the NHRA takes them with them and on to the next race. I am pretty much in the car to help get the information we need."
Dixon is currently fourth in the Winston points race, just 43 behind leader Mike Dunn (273). Darrell Russell (257) and Doug Kalitta (245)are second and third, respectively. The Miller Lite Team takes a week off before returning to action April 5-8 for the Second Annual Summitracing.com Nationals at Las Vegas.
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