POMONA, Calif. (Nov.7) -Defending $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout winner and current NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon's pass of 4.537-seconds (326.16 mph) was identical to his previous qualifying run and enough to secure the No. 2 qualified...
POMONA, Calif. (Nov.7) -Defending $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout winner and current NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon's pass of 4.537-seconds (326.16 mph) was identical to his previous qualifying run and enough to secure the No. 2 qualified position at this weekend's Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals.
The driver of the Don Prudhomme/ Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster paired against Rhonda Hartman Smith just before sunset on Friday and posted a consistent 4.537-second run (326.16 mph) and a victory over Rhonda's time of 6.887-seconds at 117.64 mph. Dixon began the weekend with a 4.539 second-lap, securing the No. 2 qualified position and remained there after the conclusion of Friday qualifying.
"We'll be ok tomorrow," said crew chief Dick LaHaie, "I'm just not sure of the direction we want to go in. We sat there waiting for them to clean up the oil down, meanwhile the track kept getting colder and colder and the air better and better.
Unfortunately, we didn't have time to make the changes we needed and it wore out the clutch; we were looking for a 4.50 flat or a high 4.40. However, it showed us one thing that we'd been trying to figure out all year. Hopefully we'll make the right calls tomorrow and win the first round of the Shootout and go from there trying to win."
In two rounds of qualifying at Pomona Raceway, LaHaie has tuned the Snake Racing/Miller Lite dragster to two consistent runs and he'd like for it to remain that way though Sunday.
"We've been fooling around with so many different things in the last four races," said LaHaie, "that coming in here with so much money on the line, we have to stop messing around and get it back to where it'll run half way decent."
Final qualifying sessions resume Saturday, which are highlighted with the inclusion of the $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout. Dixon, the defending champion of the Shootout, is the No. 2 qualifier based on his qualifying efforts over the previous 23 races. His first round opponent is seventh seeded John Smith, marking Smith's first appearance in the Shootout and Dixon's sixth.
The 39th Annual Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals continues tomorrow with two rounds of qualifying at 12:15 and 3:30 PM. The $100,00 Shootout begins at noon continues at 1:45 and concludes just after 4:00 PM with one lucky Top Fuel driver becoming $100,000 richer.
Television coverage of this weekend's qualifying and Shootout will air on ESPN 2 on Saturday, Nov. 8th from 10:00 PM- 1:00 AM (ET). Race day coverage will be shown Sunday, Nov. 9th from 4:00 - 7:00 PM (ET) and from 10:00 -11:30 PM (ET).