Dixon tops at Phoenix test sessions

PHOENIX,AZ (Jan. 13) -- On the heels of tying his career-best third place finish in the points race after the 2000 season, Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster launched the 2001 test sessions at Firebird ...

PHOENIX,AZ (Jan. 13) -- On the heels of tying his career-best third place finish in the points race after the 2000 season, Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster launched the 2001 test sessions at Firebird International Raceway with the best run of the day, clocking in at 4.61 seconds at 290 mph.

Despite shutting off the 6,500 horsepower engine at the 1,200-foot mark, Dixon and Crew Chief Dick LaHaie produced the top marks of the day, however that was not the initial plan for the Miller Lite Team according to Dixon. Dixon shut off at the 300-foot mark during his first and only other lap of the day with good numbers at the 60-foot (.860) and 330 foot marks (2.18).

"Today was about testing, not racing," said Dixon. "We wanted to make a run, come back to the pit, work on our new clutch and engine components and try and get everything dialed in. Testing affords you the time to make adjustments. We don't have any weather conditions that we have to deal with, or the pressure of trying to qualify. That's why Rusty (Wallace) is in Daytona and that's why we are here -- to work everything out before the race season starts."

The seven-year veteran pilot also admitted that testing was as much a part of getting the driver into shape as it is the car, especially considering it would be the first time Dixon got in the car with a healthy ankle since last season's crash in Memphis (Oct.8, 2000).

"Testing is just as much about shaking the cob webs out of me as it does the car," said Dixon. "It was nice to get back in the car after the off-season. I felt really comfortable not having to wear the air cast on my leg anymore. It makes it easier to drive without it. In terms of Sunday, we will run as many laps as we can, but there is no pressure to run a certain number of times. If it turns out to be once or four times, so be it. We just want to take the time to learn the parts and components in time to get ready for Pomona."

- www.snakeracing.com - k

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie