Pomona: Dixon third after opening day

POMONA,CA (Feb. 2) - Applying what they had learned during a successful off-season testing program, Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team opened the 2001 NHRA 50th Anniversary Season with a lap of 4.632 seconds at 303.84 mph to...

POMONA,CA (Feb. 2) - Applying what they had learned during a successful off-season testing program, Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team opened the 2001 NHRA 50th Anniversary Season with a lap of 4.632 seconds at 303.84 mph to qualify third after the first day of the Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.

With only 13 Top Fuel cars making the call for the first and only qualifying session of the day, Dixon leapt off the starting line and cruised down the right lane en route to his No. 3 qualifying pass. Had it not been for the engine of the Miller Lite Dragster dropping cylinders during the run, Dixon may have qualified even higher up the ladder.

"You always want to be on top, but for today, our first run of the season that actually counts, it was a good place to start,"said Dixon. "The car was set up a little bit soft but I would rather have it set up soft and make sure that we are qualified in the field and with three runs left and the weather looking good for the rest of the weekend, we can work to improve our E.T. and our qualifying position."

Overall, Dixon was pleased with the how the Miller Lite Dragster responded to techniques applied by Crew Chief Dick LaHaie after pre-season testing at Tucson, AZ. "The engine seems to be a little bit happier than it was when we were here last November, so I would have to say that everything LaHaie has worked on seems to be working."

As for Dixon's three-month old son Donovan's reaction to his first day at the dragstrip? "Well, I'm not impressing him because he slept right through my run," said Dixon. "He's doing real good. You don't know how a baby's going to get with all the noise and racket and fumes and everything, but he seems to be taking just as well as his old man did."

Three qualifying rounds remain at the 41st Annual Autozone Winternationals with the next round scheduled for 3:00 PM PST on Friday. Two remaining qualifying sessions are scheduled for 12:15 and 4:00 PM on Saturday, with the elimination round beginning at 11:00 AM on Sunday. Winternationals qualifying rounds will be televised by ESPN 2 on Saturday, Feb. 3 (9:30-11:30 PM ET) with elimination rounds to air on ESPN, Sunday, Feb. 4 (8-9 PM ET) and later (11-Midnight ET) onESPN 2.

-www.snakeracing.com -

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie