Dixon Posts Runner-Up Finish at Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (April 4, 2004) -- Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon advanced to his first final-round of the 2004 NHRA campaign where he recorded a runner-up finish to Tony Schumacher...
Dixon Posts Runner-Up Finish at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (April 4, 2004) -- Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon advanced to his first final-round of the 2004 NHRA campaign where he recorded a runner-up finish to Tony Schumacher Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Dixon qualified his Miller Lite dragster in the No. 6 position at the Bruton Smith-owned facility, and recorded victories over David Baca, Doug Kalitta and Brandon Bernstein, before falling to Schumacher in the final round at The Strip.
Dixon, who made his last final-round appearance at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. last October, used a starting-line advantage and raced to a performance of 4.571 seconds at 323.97 mph behind the wheel of his Miller Lite rail, while Schumacher's dragster clocked a run of 4.525 at 331.53 to edge Dixon at the finish line.
"Anytime you get to the final round, you never want to come home in second place," said Dixon, who has a 20-14 career mark against Schumacher. "I think the way the car ran today is the way the car was trying to run at Phoenix and Gainesville (Fla.) and we didn't get the opportunity there. We won some rounds today and made up some ground and moved up in the points, so it's a start in the right direction.
"We spun the tires in the semifinals and then we set the car up so it wouldn't spin the tires in the final round and it didn't. We ran about as good as we thought we could and they went out there and made a great pass and earned a win."
Dixon's Dick LaHaie-tuned dragster clocked the quickest elapsed time of eliminations when he powered to a run of 4.521 at 328.94 during an opening round victory over David Baca. He also recorded low E.T. of round two when he drove his Miller-backed car to a performance of 4.562 at 322.88.
"In spite of our past performance early this year, I always feel confident driving this race car with this racing team," Dixon said. "It's the same group of guys that won the last two Top Fuel championships. "
With the runner-up finish, Dixon moved into sixth place in the POWERade Top Fuel points standings. He trails Top Fuel points-leader Schumacher by 200 points or 10 elimination rounds.
ESPN2 will televise two hours of final eliminations coverage from the Summitracing.com Nationals at 11 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, April 4.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 17th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals, April 15-18, at Houston Raceway Park in Baytown, Texas.