Reading: Larry Dixon Friday summary

Dixon and the Miller Lite DRAGSTER qualify no. 3 at Maple Grove Raceway MOHNTON, PA (SEPT. 12th) -- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending champion Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualified No. 3 after the first day of racing Friday at the...

Dixon and the Miller Lite DRAGSTER qualify no. 3 at Maple Grove Raceway

MOHNTON, PA (SEPT. 12th) -- The 2002 NHRA POWERade defending champion Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualified No. 3 after the first day of racing Friday at the 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway (Sept.12-14th). The rain stopped just long enough to allow Dixon and the Top Fuel field to make one late evening pass. Dixon produced a time of 4.550 ET at 322.11 miles-per hour.

The first rain delay began just as Dixon and the Snake Racing team were gearing up for the staging lanes. The first qualifying session of the weekend scheduled for 4:30 PM start was cancelled due to persistent rain showers.

Just when most thought the day had been a complete wash out, the rain stopped, the track was dried and racing was set to resume.

Just before midnight Larry Dixon qualified at No.3 in his Miller Lite/Snake Racing dragster. Doug Kalitta smoked the tires and Dixon drove on to a 4.550 ET lap at 322.11 mph to Kalitta's 10.735 ET (80.73 mph).

A discouraging rain-filled weekend forecast gave Miller Lite crew chief Dick LaHaie and others no choice but to race. "We had to go," said LaHaie, "because it may be the only qualifying run we get. We had to get on the track and be fairly cautious.

I'm always cautiously confident. I'm confident in what we do and confident we have a good program, but I also know that anything can happen at any given time and usually it does."

Making his point clear, LaHaie points at two large chunks missing from the rear tires. "The tires fall apart, it's why we lost the car in Bristol. It's cold at night, and we shouldn't have been out there."

Our dragster isn't the only car that does this, it's just that our car does it consistently, good or bad track, cold or hot track it just does it. And I don't know why, we've tried everything to get away from it."

Two qualifying sessions on Saturday remain (Noon & 3:30 PM ET) while Sunday's eliminations are scheduled for a 10:00 AM ET start. ESPN2 will air qualifying starting on Saturday from 4:00-5:30 PM with final round coverage of the 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals airing on Sunday, Sept.14th from 4:30-7:00 PM ET.

-www.snakeracing.com-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Dick LaHaie