BAYTOWN, TX (Apr. 15) - Larry Dixon's best qualifying lap of 4.626 seconds at 314.75 mph set on Friday afternoon wound up being his best as the Miller Lite Dragster earned the No. 4 seed and will be paired Sunday against No. 13 seed Bruce Litton...
BAYTOWN, TX (Apr. 15) - Larry Dixon's best qualifying lap of 4.626 seconds at 314.75 mph set on Friday afternoon wound up being his best as the Miller Lite Dragster earned the No. 4 seed and will be paired Sunday against No. 13 seed Bruce Litton during the first round of the 13th Annual O'Reilly Nationals.
While Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie would have liked to take advantage of the 15-car Top Fuel field by winning the pole and earning a first round bye due to the missing 16th qualifier, they did put together four of the most consistent runs during qualifying, with laps ranging from 4.62 to 4.67 seconds. The Miller Lite Dragster was just one of a few cars to successfully make it down the track on all four preliminary attempts.
The consistent performance of Don Prudhomme's Top Fueler during the two days of qualifying proved Dixon to be correct in his assessment of LaHaie's knowledge of the track surface in Houston. "LaHaie is really sharp and is not going to take a gamble with tire smoke when he can back the car down and get it down the race track," said Dixon.
"I think we are one of the only cars to get down the track four times, with 4.60s on every run, and at good speeds. I think 4.60s will win races tomorrow, even the close ones, and I will take our four 4.60s over Kenny Bernstein's two 4.50s and two tire smokers."
Saturday's opening lap down the right quarter-mile lane of Houston Raceway Park saw Dixon on a pole-threatening run until the blower belt flew loose, slowing his dragster to a time of 4.674 seconds at 295.08 mph. The final qualifying effort later that afternoon resulted in a lap of 4.667 seconds at 316.82 mph.
Sunday's first round scheduled to start at 10 AM CST will pit Dixon against Litton for the first time in both drivers' careers. Dixon owns the event record elapsed time of 4.486 seconds.
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