MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 10, 2004) 0x2022 Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon maintained his position in the NHRA Top Fuel points standings Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway. The 35-time NHRA winner used a starting line advantage over...
MOHNTON, Pa. (Oct. 10, 2004) 0x2022 Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon maintained his position in the NHRA Top Fuel points standings Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway.
The 35-time NHRA winner used a starting line advantage over first-round opponent Rhonda Hartman-Smith, before Dixon's Miller Lite dragster shook the tires and lost traction, allowing Hartman-Smith to drive by and collect the round win. Hartman-Smith drove her rail to a pass of 4.632 seconds at 310.05, while the Miller-backed dragster stopped the clocks in 7.803 at 98.66. Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite team remain sixth in the 2004 Top Fuel standings.
"I go into every race with the same game plan, to qualify, win the first round in front of you and to try and win the race," Dixon said. "My goals are probably different from Dick LaHaie's goals right now. I'm sure he's going to try and use the last two events at Las Vegas and Pomona (Calif.) to sort out a combination that he feels comfortable with to compete for the championship next season."
"We were the first pair of cars to go down the track on Sunday and the track wasn't as good as it was in qualifying," assistant crew chief Don Bender added. "We didn't back down the engine and clutch enough and the car shook the tires."
ESPN2 will broadcast two hours of final eliminations coverage from the Lucas Oil Nationals at 5 p.m. (ET) on Monday, Oct. 11.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the fourth annual ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals, Oct. 28-31, at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Dixon earned the victory at the fall Las Vegas event in 2002.