Las Vegas: Dixon No. 8 on Snake's 60th birthday

LAS VEGAS (April 6) -- Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Top Fuel team helped celebrate team owner Don Prudhomme's 60th birthday Friday by qualifying in the top half of the field (No. 8) with a lap of 4.683 seconds at 310.91 mph at the Second Annual...

LAS VEGAS (April 6) -- Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Top Fuel team helped celebrate team owner Don Prudhomme's 60th birthday Friday by qualifying in the top half of the field (No. 8) with a lap of 4.683 seconds at 310.91 mph at the Second Annual Summitracing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Dixon and squad returned to the desert this weekend as the owner's of the track speed record (317. 27 mph) set during the inaugural race at The Strip last season.  The opening session of Top Fuel qualifying would see that mark fall though as four other Dragsters posted faster speeds.  Dixon's opening pass resulted in his best elapsed time of the day at 4.683 seconds at 310.91 mph, good enough for sixth position on the ladder after the first session.

Strong winds and cold temperatures greeted Dixon and the rest of the 18-car Top Fuel field for the second and final qualifying session of the day.  Crew Chief Dick LaHaie used data from the opening round and also needed to take into account for a strong tailwind as he tried to push the Miller Lite Dragster up a few positions.  The track could not hold the aggressive clutch setup however, as Dixon lost traction and shut off to a lap of 10.212 seconds at 87.03 mph to move to No. 8.

Prudhomme, who shares the same birthday with his Snake Racing Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr, celebrated his special day with by sharing a special four-foot Miller Lite Dragster birthday cake with Miller Brewing representatives, family and friends in the Top Fuel pit area.

Dixon (230), currently sits fourthin the Winston Points race, just 43 points behind current leader Mike Dunn (273).  There are two qualifying laps remaining, scheduled for Noon and 3:00 PM PT on Saturday.  Dixon has reached one final round this season where he posted a runner-up finish to Dunn at Houston (March 25).

ESPN2 is scheduled to broadcast Friday and Saturday's qualifying rounds on Saturday, April 7 from 9:30-11:30 PM ET.  Sunday's elimination rounds will also air on ESPN2 and is scheduled for a 7:00 PM ET start.

- www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Tommy Johnson , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie