Miller Lite Team mounting momentum. READING, Pa. (Sept. 9) - If Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite team's performance at the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is any indication of their momentum, all signs say they're ready to mount a stretch run ...
Miller Lite Team mounting momentum.
READING, Pa. (Sept. 9) - If Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite team's performance at the recent Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is any indication of their momentum, all signs say they're ready to mount a stretch run for their first NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship.
However, the Dick LaHaie-led Snake Racing team isn't looking any further ahead than their immediate business-taking it round by round. They're approaching every competitive pass with the same professionalism that has enabled them to amass a 103-point lead with six races remaining starting with the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on Sept. 13-15 at the Maple Grove Raceway.
"I think Dick LaHaie and the team certainly have a handle on the performance of the car," said Dixon, winner of seven NHRA Top Fuel events in 2002. "Whether we're facing a cool, tight racetrack or a hot, greasy racetrack, we've got to wait and get over there and see what kind of weather we have, make the changes and hope we hit the setup right."
In last year's race, Dixon motored to one of his quickest weekends on record recording a 4.505 time in eliminations, which were held in cooler conditions after the original date was postponed for a month (Oct. 7) due to the 9/11 tragedies.
"Last year's race was entirely different than what I expect we will see this year because last year we ran the race a month later due to 9/11", said Dixon. "We struggled quite a bit in qualifying and finally got the car running pretty good on raceday. There again, you've got to wait and see what the weather is like and what you think the track will hold and you go from there. We know the track can certainly be good if the weather conditions are good."
Maple Grove Raceway has always been one of the premier drag racing tracks that consistently have more favorable bite and produce near record times every year. The track surface gives competitors a chance to show the real potential these 6,000 horsepower dragsters have to offer.
"The characteristics of that racetrack are not too different from what you would see at, say Seattle, where you have all the trees surrounding the racetrack," Dixon said. "It seems to make the cars run well. You really notice it with the Pro Stock cars. Whatever the national record is in Pro Stock, they always seem to drop it going there. So that lets you know how good conditions are. Weather permitting, I would expect to see the same."
Qualifying gets the powerful weekend started on Friday, Sept. 13 with runs at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Saturday qualifying rounds continue at 12:45 and 3:45 p.m. with the Sunday's Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals getting the green light at 11:00 a.m. EDT.