Madison: Larry Dixon final qualifying summary

MADISON, Ill. (June 29) - Top Fuel NHRA POWERade points leader, Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Snake Racing dragster saw their string of 64 consecutive races dating back to September of 1999 end when his weekend's best pass of 5.104 seconds fell...

MADISON, Ill. (June 29) - Top Fuel NHRA POWERade points leader, Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite Snake Racing dragster saw their string of 64 consecutive races dating back to September of 1999 end when his weekend's best pass of 5.104 seconds fell short of making the 16-car elimination field for Sunday's sixth annual Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

Dixon entered the final day of qualifying in the No. 15 spot and looked to improve over the course of the final two qualifying sessions. Dixon's first lap saw him record a time of 5.402 seconds while his second effort resulted in a time of 5.403 seconds - just missing the bump time of 5.018 seconds.

The Miller Lite Top Fuel team came to St. Louis with a 259-point lead over Kenny Bernstein and is guaranteed to keep the No. 1 spot regardless of Sunday's results.

"On every run we made it spun the tires at different points of the racetrack," said Dixon. "We were never able to make a good run. You can look at two ways. One, I would rather have it happen with us in first place than last place because we have some points we can give up. You can't afford to do this every week, but it's still okay. At every race I try to qualify and then I'll try to look to win. You learn real fast to not take qualifying for granted. You've got to earn your place in the show just like the No.50 guy in the points.

"I've gone through this before. Although many people have said we've made it look easy, we've worked very hard to get to this point. Hopefully something like this will make everyone aware of how difficult it is to run one of these cars and to win with one of these cars.

"I'm still a little numb about it right now. I know we have a great car. I wouldn't want anybody else tuning it except Dick LaHaie (crew chief). I wouldn't want anybody else working on this car except for the crew guys we have. I wouldn't want to drive for anybody else but Don Prudhomme (owner).

"We just didn't have the package. I have all the confidence in my guys. After all, we've made it to the finals 10 times out of 11 races. That's not too bad. I'm sure there are a lot of people who would be more than happy to trade positions with me.

"It's just like playing hockey during the playoffs and you get blown out 7-0. What do you do? Do you quit, no; you go out and play the next game. That's all I can do. We're under the same conditions as everybody else. I'm not making excuses for us. If Dick LaHaie knew what the problem was, he would have fixed it by now."

Dixon and the Miller Lite team take two weeks off before venturing out west to defend their title as champion of the Mopar Parts Mile-High Nationals at the Bandimere Speedway slated to run on July 21.

-www.snakeracing.com-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie