Miller Lite team stay positive in NHRA finals. POMONA (Nov. 10) - It wasn't quite the ending to the championship season that Miller Lite Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon would have wanted to see in the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Pomona Raceway, as...
Miller Lite team stay positive in NHRA finals.
POMONA (Nov. 10) - It wasn't quite the ending to the championship season that Miller Lite Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon would have wanted to see in the Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Pomona Raceway, as he unexpectedly lost traction in the first round of eliminations on the tricky California quarter-mile and handed the win to his opponent, Scott Weis.
Dixon had already shown strength on his way to his first NHRA POWERade Top Fuel Championship, claiming the victory two weeks ago at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway, thus accumulating the appropriate amount of points to secure his position as the No. 1 driver in the standings.
The Miller Lite team will receive a total of 1,951 points giving him a 193 points advantage over his nearest competitor. In addition to taking nine NHRA National event wins in 2002, which tied Gary Scelzi's record from 2000, Dixon reached a record-breaking 14 final round appearances and set his personal elimination round win/loss record of 57-13 for the year.
"Fortunately, our performance here was irrelevant as far as the championship goes," said Dixon, the newly crowned champion. "That was our main goal throughout the season, to win the POWERade title and we were able to get that done. It's funny, last year we won 57 rounds of competition and lost by 100 points. This year we won 57 rounds and win by almost 200 points. That's just how it goes.
"I'm just proud to be part of the team. Dick LaHaie and everybody on the crew did just a phenomenal job week in and week out. When things were bad nobody lost their composure and we went out there and got it done."
The team led by crew chief, Dick LaHaie was determined as ever to end his 2002 drag racing season on a positive note, but took the first-round defeat in veteran stride.
"We wanted to win the race, it's that simple," said LaHaie. "All in all, I have nothing to complain about, nothing whatsoever. When you race a guy like Scott Weis enough times throughout the year, beating him time and time again, the odds keep coming to him. Sooner or later, he's going to win. I know it was at our expense, but if we had to lose to somebody, I'm glad it was him. They're up there struggling along and trying to make this whole tour. They're good people. As far as losing, no, I don't like losing. We can live with it because we won the championship. We still have the Top Fuel Shootout we get to run at the first of the year. I'm very pleased with the way it's all turned out."
Dixon and the rest of the Snake Racing Miller Lite team will receive their Top Fuel championship accolades at the Kodak Theatre as part of the National Hot Rod Association awards ceremony in downtown Hollywood on Monday evening with the climatic moment centering around the presentation of the $400,000 check and championship trophy, acknowledging him as the 2002 NHRA POWERade champion.
The next NHRA National event will be the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona scheduled to run on Feb. 6 - 9, 2003.