Houston: Dixon looking for three-peat

BAYTOWN, TX (Oct. 28) - Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel Team took two steps in the right direction Saturday as the two-time defending champion at Houston Raceway Park put together a pair of 4.6-second runs to qualify in the...

BAYTOWN, TX (Oct. 28) - Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel Team took two steps in the right direction Saturday as the two-time defending champion at Houston Raceway Park put together a pair of 4.6-second runs to qualify in the No. 8 spot for Sunday's elimination round at the 4th Annual Matco Tools SuperNationals.

Crew Chief Dick LaHaie found what was ailing the Miller Lite Dragster on Friday as Dixon's first lap Saturday sailed down the right lane en route to a time of 4.697 seconds at 306 mph to climb five notches up the qualifying ladder into the No. 10 position. The fourth and final qualifying session saw the No. 91 car pick up .04 of a second (4.657 seconds at 309 mph) to improve to the No. 8 position and a first round meeting with No. 9 seed Doug Herbert.

The Dixon-Herbert pairing will be a familiar one to NHRA fans as the two Top Fuel pilots will meet each other for the sixth time this season and the 10th time in their careers. Dixon will put his perfect season mark of 5 wins and no losses on the line in the opening round. Since leaving Herbert's team late last season, former crew chief LaHaie has never lost to his old team since taking over the tuning duties for Dixon's squad.

Dixon, who celebrated his 34th birthday on Monday (Oct. 23), looks to win this weekend's 4th Annual Matco Tools SuperNationals and extend his streak to three consecutive wins in Houston. His first win came at the 1999 Matco Tools SuperNationals, followed by his win earlier this spring at the O'Reilly Nationals. Dixon also rewrote the NHRA Top Fuel record books here (April 9, 1999) as the first driver to break the 4.5-second barrier with his 4.486-second lap.

The Miller Lite/Raybestos pilot enters this weekend's race ranked No. 3 in the Winston Top Fuel points race, 223 points behind leader Gary Scelzi and just 97 points behind second place Tony Schumacher who withdrew from this weekend's race after his first qualifying attempt.

- www.snakeracing.com -

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie