Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster post runner-up finish at O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 22nd) -- Defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon posted a runner-up finish in Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster...
Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster post runner-up finish at O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 22nd) -- Defending NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon posted a runner-up finish in Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster at the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals Monday while remaining the Top Fuel points leader at 1,688.
The Miller Lite dragster was one of five pairs to pilot down the quarter mile at Memphis Motorsports Park before rain forced the postponement of racing until Monday at 11:00 AM. Dixon scored a round one win against Scott Weis with a time of 4.589-seconds Sunday with a speed of 319.90 mph.
Round two of Monday eliminations paired Dixon and the Snake Racing team against Cory McClenathan. Dixon's 4.624-second run at 320.13 mph edged out McClenathan time of 4.638-seconds (314.31 mph).
In their fifth meeting of Sunday eliminations this season, Dixon took on Darrell Russell in the semi-finals. Crew chief Dick LaHaie having lane choice for the third time directed the Miller Lite dragster into the left lane. Once again Dixon powered for the win with a speed of 318.69 mph (4.592 ET), passing Russell who smoked the tires from the start.
The win advanced Dixon to his 12th final round appearance of the 2003 season and 59th of his career, marking an impressive 49-9 round record for the 2003 season.
The win also marked the second time this year Dixon would meet Tony Schumacher in the final round (L-Chicago). Dixon holds a career record of 3-3 against Schumacher in the finals (W-Hou 00, L-Phx 02, L-Indy 02, W-Memphis 02, W-Vegas 02, L-Chi 03). It was last year at Memphis Motorsports Park that Dixon, driving his Elvis themed dragster, defeated Schumacher in the finals and was looking for a repeat performance here today. But Schumacher's lap of 4.581 ET (317.79 mph) would beat Dixon's time of 4.651 ET at 316.52 mph.
"You're never happy to just get into the final round," said Dixon, "it's a place where you'd like to win. It's what makes people competitors. You don't want to be the guy that's just there, you want to go out there and win. Unfortunately, we didn't. We were able to gain points against Doug Kalitta, which was nice, but still."
Catch the Snake Racing team back in action when the head to Route 66 in Chicago for the 3rd annual Carquest Autoparts Nationals, Sept.25-28th