GAINESVILLE, FLA (Mar. 17) - With the first day of qualifying complete at the Matco Tools Gatornationals, 1995 Gators champ Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster posted the fifth quickest lap of the day to earn the No. 5 ...
GAINESVILLE, FLA (Mar. 17) - With the first day of qualifying complete at the Matco Tools Gatornationals, 1995 Gators champ Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster posted the fifth quickest lap of the day to earn the No. 5 position in the field of 17 top fuel cars with a pass of 4.659 seconds at 313.88 mph.
Dixon began the day with a pass of 5.714 seconds at 156.92 mph to sit in the No. 12 spot overall after the first session. "We are getting plenty of horsepower out of the engine," said Dixon. "We just need to have the clutch slip a little more gradually on our next run to get the car down the track."
Crew Chief Dick LaHaie, himself a former Gatornationals winning-driver, made the necessary adjustment for the second round as the car picked up just over one full second (1.055) as Dixon improved from 12th to fifth place on the ladder. Things also looked up for the Miller Lite Team as Friday's second run marked the first time in the last several runs that the Miller Lite Dragster has not suffered damage to the main bearing.
"I always want to run better than we do no matter what the numbers are," said LaHaie. "We went out there and we tried a different clutch combination the first round and the car kind of did what I thought it would do, but I had to prove it to myself to make sure. So after I did that, I said, 'Let's not follow that route any longer, let's go back to what we know will get down the racetrack and then think about what we need to do to improve.' I think we can run a 61 or a 62. I mean, a 65 isn't bad, but I wasn't looking for that."
Dixon, who posted the second win of his career at Gainesville Raceway, is in his sixth season behind the wheel and has eight NHRA national event wins in 18 final round appearances after his 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year campaign.
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