DIXON POSTS QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT RAIN-DELAYED MEMPHIS RACE MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2006) - Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon drove his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster to a quarterfinal finish Monday at the ...
DIXON POSTS QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT RAIN-DELAYED MEMPHIS RACE
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Aug. 21, 2006) - Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon drove his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster to a quarterfinal finish Monday at the rain-delayed NHRA event at Memphis Motorsports Park.
After racing to three solid runs during qualifying en route to the No. 11 position, Dixon defeated No. 6 qualifier Troy Buff in the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations before Mother Nature put a damper on Sunday's racing action at the 19th annual O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals. Strong storms forced NHRA officials to postpone the continuation of final eliminations until Monday morning.
In his first career meeting against the rookie driver from Texas, Dixon used a consistent tune-up from crew chiefs Don Bender and Todd Smith to race the Miller Lite dragster to a pass of 4.880 seconds at 288.77 mph to knock off a tire-smoking Buff, who slowed to a 9.318-second pass. Dixon carded the fourth quickest pass of the round.
"We were fourth quick of the session," Dixon said. "The car ran well to half-track and then spun the tires from there on, but it was good enough to take the win."
When final eliminations reconvened at 9 a.m. on Monday morning at an overcast Memphis Motorsports Park, the drivers of the famed "beer wagons" used nearly identical reaction times as the 38-time NHRA winner powered his Miller Lite/Lucas Oil dragster to its quickest run of the extended weekend, 4.614 at 320.05. However, Bernstein's red rail was slightly quicker, clocking a run of 4.553 at 327.59 to earn the trip to the semifinals.
"Donnie (Bender) and Todd (Smith) set it up to run a 4.60 and it ran 4.61," Dixon said. "Our car wasn't setup to run a 4.55. To be honest, we didn't feel the track could hold a 4.55 and we flat got outrun."
It marks the first time since 1999 that Dixon has not advanced to at least the semifinals at the Memphis race. Dixon and the Miller Lite team remain seventh in the NHRA Top Fuel standings with six races remaining on the 2006 NHRA schedule.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 52nd annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Dixon is a three-time winner (1995, 2001, and '05) of drag racing's marquee event.