Memphis: Larry Dixon Friday summary

From The Snake Pit Dixon hopes to make it Miller time in Memphis MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 19th) -- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualified No.7 after the first day of racing Friday at...

From The Snake Pit
Dixon hopes to make it Miller time in Memphis

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 19th) -- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualified No.7 after the first day of racing Friday at the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park (Sept.19-21st). Dixon drove the Miller Lite dragster to a 4.592-second run at a speed of 322.27 mph during the first qualifying session of the day.

Plagued by a season of rain and postponements, NHRA teams were finally able to race without the threat of rain. The Miller Lite team took advantage of warm afternoon temperatures and the opportunity of a second consecutive victory at Memphis Motorsports Park.

In the first qualifying session Dixon and his Miller Lite dragster paired against Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools mobile. Dixon posted a time of 4.592-seconds at 322.27 mph to Kalitta's 4.573 ET (321.88). Kalitta had the quicker time but Dixon ran the faster speed, earning him the track speed record for a short time.

For the second run of the session, Dixon was forced to shut it off posting a time of 7.072 ET (90.11 mph). "I stepped on the throttle," said Dixon, "and it lifted the wheels up. It wasn't going to come down so I had to shut it off." In the right lane Tony Schumacher also shut it off but not by choice. Schumacher experienced a crash that was near identical to Dixon's crash in the same lane three years ago, going completely vertical at the end of the run and crashing in a thousand pieces; Dixon suffered a broken ankle in the 2000 crash.

In 1988 Dixon joined Don Prudhomme Racing to work on Snake's Funny Car, his main responsibility was working the bottom end. But tonight the defending Top Fuel champ could be found working on the front end of his own car, making adjustment to the damaged A-arm, which endured more than 2,175-pounds when the car slammed down from the wheel stand.

Dixon's first qualifying run of 4.592 (ET) would guarantee the NHRA points leader a qualified position headed into Saturday's final two sessions. The third session of qualifying begins tomorrow at 12:30PM (ET) followed by the final session at 3:30PM (ET). Sunday's eliminations are scheduled for a 10:00 AM ET start.

ESPN2 will air qualifying starting on Saturday from 3:30-5:30 PM ET with final round coverage of the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals airing on ESPN Sunday, Sept.21st from 6:00-8:00 PM ET.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme