Phoenix: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

DIXON BLASTS TO FASTEST PASS OF 2005 EN ROUTE TO NO. 7 QUALIFYING SPOT AT PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon blistered the Firebird International Raceway quarter mile during qualifying Saturday...

DIXON BLASTS TO FASTEST PASS OF 2005 EN ROUTE TO NO. 7 QUALIFYING SPOT AT PHOENIX

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 26, 2005) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon blistered the Firebird International Raceway quarter mile during qualifying Saturday as the 35-time NHRA winner qualified seventh with a performance of 4.517 seconds at 330.39 mph, a season-best speed.

Dixon, who entered the day in the No. 11 qualifying spot, used a tune-up from veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie to stop the F.I.R. timers in 4.517 at 330.39 on his final qualifying effort of the weekend to claim the No. 7 qualifying spot and earn lane choice in the first round of Top Fuel eliminations. Top Fuel's winningest active driver coasted to a run of 6.211 at 101.26 on Saturday's first pass after his Miller-backed rail overpowered the hot race track and spun the tires.

"I never lacked confidence in our team's ability to find a setup for this race track," Dixon said. "That's why they give us four qualifying runs. We're in the top half of the field, now we have to go out and see what we can do.

"We needed to learn to have more confidence in our equipment," LaHaie added. "We don't have many runs on this combination. The things we did last year don't work with this setup. These cars run on horsepower. We won a lot of races with the clutch. We can't do that anymore. The sanctioning body wants cookie-cutter race cars and right now, Alan Johnson has the sharpest cookie cutter."

Dixon, who scored the victory at the Phoenix track in 1995, will match up against No. 10 qualifier David Grubnic in round one. Dixon is 13-3 in his career against the native Australian driver.

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , David Grubnic , Dick LaHaie