DIXON, CAPPS AND EDWARDS RACE TO QUALIFYING LEAD AT LUCAS OIL SLICK MIST NHRA NATIONALS CHANDLER, Ariz. - Larry Dixon turned his season around Friday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals by racing to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel. Ron...
DIXON, CAPPS AND EDWARDS RACE TO QUALIFYING LEAD AT LUCAS OIL SLICK MIST NHRA NATIONALS
CHANDLER, Ariz. - Larry Dixon turned his season around Friday at the Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals by racing to the qualifying lead in Top Fuel.
Ron Capps and Mike Edwards also were qualifying leaders in their categories at the second race of the season in the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Dixon, who failed to qualify for the NHRA season-opener two weeks ago in Pomona, Calif., rebounded with the quickest run on Friday at Firebird International Raceway, a performance o f 3.807 seconds at 313.95 mph in his Al-Anabi Racing dragster.
"It's nice to qualify," said Dixon, the defending winner of this event. "You look at the team and all the talent it has, but I never take qualifying for granted. With my personality, I don't get too up or too down. I'm thankful to have a great job driving for a great team, and I wasn't going to let one run determine our fate for the season.
"We made a nice run. The car rattled a little bit early. It cleaned up right about the time that I didn't think it was going to make it. From that point, I didn't have to steer it very much."
Antron Brown was second in his Matco Tools dragster with a 3.830 at 313.80, while Tony Schumacher was third in his U.S. Army dragster with a 3.840 at 315.27.
Capps raced to the Funny Car lead with a 4.023 at 305.63 and continued his strong start to the season in his Napa Dodge Charger.
"I haven't been [in the press room] on a Friday in a long time," said Capps, winner of the season-opening race whose last No. 1 qualifying performance came in 2005. "It's been awhile since we've had a car capable of taking the pole. It goes to show you what kind of confidence 'Ace' has in this car right now that he can take a shot at it. He usually likes to find a baseline and stick to it.
"I quote 'Ace' (crew chief Ed McCulloch) when I say that confidence breeds success. We left Pomona knowing we have a great car, and you always want to follow up a win with a good performance to show it. We're out here to win races this year. We didn't win any last year, and we're embarrassed by that. If we keep the attitude of going out to win as many races as we can for Napa, the points will fall into place."
Mike Neff was second in his John Force Racing Ford Mustang with a 4.050 at 309.06 and Dixon's teammate, Del Worsham, posted a 4.072 at 305.22 in his Al-Anabi Racing Toyota Solara for third place.
Edwards posted a track record time of 6.605 at 208.71 in his Penhall/Young Life Pontiac GXP to lead the 16-car Pro Stock order.
"Qualifying isn't over yet, but at least we're leading today and that means a lot," Edwards said. "We really needed a run like we got on the first day. The first run I made didn't feel like a No. 1 run but the second did. There are a lot of good teams out here that are capable of stepping up tomorrow with a good number."
Greg Anderson raced to second place with a 6.619 at 209.49 in his Summit Racing GXP, while defending world champ Jeg Coughlin was third overall with a 6.624 at 208.33 in his JEGS.com Chevy Cobalt.
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions at noon and 2:30 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday.