Memphis: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

Dixon is one day away from a consecutive career victory in Memphis MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 20th) -- Defending Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon and the Snake Racing team moved up to the No.5 qualified position headed into tomorrow's final elimination...

Dixon is one day away from a consecutive career victory in Memphis

MILLINGTON, Tenn. (SEPT. 20th) -- Defending Top Fuel champ Larry Dixon and the Snake Racing team moved up to the No.5 qualified position headed into tomorrow's final elimination round of the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park. Dixon drove the Miller Lite dragster to a 4.586-second run at a speed of 322.19 mph during the third qualifying session Saturday.

For the second time during qualifying the Don Prudhomme owned dragster paired against Team Army. Tony Schumacher struck the tires midway down the track and Dixon went on for the win, posting a lap of 4.586 ET (322.19 mph) and improving his qualified position to No.5.

In the fourth and final round of qualifying Dixon paired against David Baca. Both drivers struck the tires, Dixon at the start and Baca at 200 feet. The Miller Lite dragster posted a time of 11.556 ET at 72.86 mph.

Dixon will pair against No.12 qualifier Scott Weis tomorrow in the first round of Sunday eliminations. The Miller Lite/Mac Tools dragster has a successful 6-1career record against Weis.

Miller Lite crew chief Dick LaHaie has a game plan for tomorrow and plans to put it in motion. "We plan to take a different approach tomorrow, we'll look at a few things, make some adjustment and go from there."

"We realize what we'd done wrong last night. Today we put it back to normal, came out and bettered our qualifying position. We came back and said let's step it up a little and the car said no."

Not even LaHaie know for sure which lane the Snake Racing dragster will choose. "I prefer the right lane," said LaHaie, "only because we haven't been down the left lane. Tomorrow we'll take a look at the cars ahead of us and see how they do and make a decision from there. Right now I don't know which lane we'll choose."

When asked if he consulted data from last years win at Memphis Motorsports Park, LaHaie quickly answered "No. It's not even in the same zip code. We've changed so many things that the information no longer applies. You can compare the weather from last year but that's it."

The defending champ and current points leader hopes that tomorrow will mark the fifth time this year he has taken consecutive victories at a track. The Miller Lite/Snake Racing team has eight victories this year, four tracks in which Dixon has earned consecutive trips to the winner's circle (Pomona, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Columbus).

Dixon began the 2003 NHRA Top Fuel POWERade racing tour with a win in Pomona followed by victories in Las Vegas, Atlanta, Topeka and Columbus. He then became the fourth NHRA driver to win the entire Western Swing of Denver, Seattle and Sonoma.

Sunday's pre-race ceremonies begin at 10:00 AM and eliminations at 11:00 AM. Tomorrow catch NHRA 2-Day at 11:00 AM then flip over to ESPN for final round coverage of the 16th annual O'Reilly Mid-South NHRA Nationals from 6:00-8:00 PM ET.

-www.snakeracing.com-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Scott Weis , Tony Schumacher , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie