Madison: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

MADISON, Ill. (June 26, 2004) - Larry Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to its best qualifying position since mid-April Saturday at Gateway International Raceway after powering his Don Prudhomme-owned rail to a performance of 4.556 seconds at...

MADISON, Ill. (June 26, 2004) - Larry Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to its best qualifying position since mid-April Saturday at Gateway International Raceway after powering his Don Prudhomme-owned rail to a performance of 4.556 seconds at 315.42 mph.

The two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion used a Dick LaHaie tune-up to record his 4.556 at 315.42 effort and claim the No. 6 qualifying position on his fourth and final qualifying pass of the weekend under the lights at Gateway Raceway. The 34-time NHRA winner raced to a run of 4.640 at 318.84 on Saturday's first qualifying attempt. It was the third quickest Top Fuel run of Saturday's opening qualifying session.

"We're confident because we have a pretty good hot track setup and a good cool track setup," assistant crew chief Don Bender said. "If you go rounds, you're going to have to have both setups on Sunday. We'll start out with the hot track and then go to the cool track setup. We think we can make the adjustments to make the car run faster as the day goes on."

Dixon aims to win his first career event at Gateway Int'l Raceway when he faces No. 11 qualifier Rhonda Hartman-Smith in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations which begin at 4:30 p.m. (CT) on Sunday. Dixon is 14-1 in his career against Hartman-Smith.

ESPN2 will televise three hours of final eliminations coverage from the eighth annual Sears Craftsman Nationals beginning at 9 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, June 27.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie