LAS VEGAS, Nevada. (Oct.26) --NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon saw his amazing string of 21 consecutive opening-round wins come to an end Sunday as a mechanical malfunction gave Don Prudhomme's Snake Racing Miller...
LAS VEGAS, Nevada. (Oct.26) --NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon saw his amazing string of 21 consecutive opening-round wins come to an end Sunday as a mechanical malfunction gave Don Prudhomme's Snake Racing Miller Lite Dragster a first-round finish at the at the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
After claiming their second consecutive NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Championship two weeks ago at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals, the Miller Lite team was determined to go four rounds en-route to a fourth straight victory at The Strip, but instead finished the day after a first-round defeat.
Dixon and his Miller Lite/Snake Racing dragster experienced troubles at half-track and handed the win to opponent, Clay Millican. Dixon gave the Don Prudhomme dragster a tremendous effort posting a lap of 5.027 seconds (206.80 mph) but fell short of Millican's 4.625second lap at 308.99 mph.
"It was inevitable," said crew chief Dick LaHaie, "But it was an unfortunate time for it to happen. We had parts failure, it's just one of those things that you never expect it to happen and suddenly it happens.
We're not sure if it was the ignition but something caused the number six cylinder to fire at the wrong time, breaking the connector rod. We'll continue to dissect the thing and see what caused it. We'll probably service the car here in Vegas, put the basic car back together and go through everything once back in Vista.
You never know. There's always something that can happen and it usually does. I'm just glad that we're going though this now and not fighting it mid summer," concluded LaHaie.
Coming into Sunday's race, Dixon and crew chief Dick LaHaie enjoyed the longest opening round win streak in Top Fuel competition with 21 straight wins dating back to the Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov. 9, 2002), held in Pomona.
The team will regroup at the Don Prudhomme Racing Vista shop as the NHRA POWERade tour takes a week off before returning to action at final race of the 2003 racing series, the 39th annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov.6-9) at Pomona, CA.