DIXON RACES TO QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT POMONA POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2006) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon opened the 2006 NHRA season by racing his Miller Lite dragster to a second-round finish at the 46th annual ...
DIXON RACES TO QUARTERFINAL FINISH AT POMONA
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 12, 2006) -- Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon opened the 2006 NHRA season by racing his Miller Lite dragster to a second-round finish at the 46th annual Winternationals Sunday at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
After posting three strong low 4.5-second passes in qualifying, Dixon won a pedal-fest against first round opponent Cory McClenathan. Both dragsters lost traction early, but the Miller Lite rail hooked back up and Dixon powered to a pass of 5.142 seconds at 286.38 mph to edge McClenathan's time of 5.850 at 223.76. It was Dixon's 400th career round win.
"Running early in the first round, you always have to be ready because the track isn't as good as later on in the day," Dixon said. "We went out and it spun the tires and I pedaled it, and it spun some more and I pedaled it again and it hooked up enough to get the win. That allowed Donnie (Bender) and the team to come back and make some adjustments and have a shot at making another run."
The three-time Winternationals (1998, 2002-03) winner used a starting-line advantage to get the jump on second-round opponent Doug Herbert and drove the Miller-backed rail to pass of 4.595 at 320.74, but Herbert turned in a performance of 4.561 at 320.58 to score the win light in a tight finish.
"After the first round, I had a better light and we had a better car, but it wasn't enough to get the win," Dixon said. "Every run we make adds to Donnie's information bank, so it's important for us to make passes."
"We did good," Bender said. "With me being a new crew chief and most of the guys on the crew being in new positions, we wanted to qualify in the top half of the field and we did that and we wanted to go to the semifinals, which we didn't do. After our glitch on Thursday, we got down the track and overall it was a good weekend."
Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team will take a week off before heading to the Valley of the Sun, Feb. 24-26, for the 22nd annual CSK Nationals at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix. Dixon won the Phoenix event in 1995.