Reading2: Larry Dixon Saturday summary

MOHNTON, PA (OCT. 4th) -- NHRA Defending Champ Larry Dixon qualified No.3 headed into tomorrow's final round action at the 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The Miller Lite dragster used a time of 4.550-seconds and speed...

MOHNTON, PA (OCT. 4th) -- NHRA Defending Champ Larry Dixon qualified No.3 headed into tomorrow's final round action at the 19th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway. The Miller Lite dragster used a time of 4.550-seconds and speed of 322.11 mph to secure the No.3 position.

Originally scheduled during mid September, teams had completed one qualifying run on Friday (Sept. 12th) before steady rain forced the postponement of the race. Qualifying concluded today after a long rain delay and one final qualifying run.

Dixon's first qualifying run made in mid September produced a time of 4.550-seconds at 322.11 mph. On the second qualifying attempt at Maple Grove Raceway on Saturday, the Dick LaHaie led team faced cool, crisp October temperatures, a challenge for the Miller Lite/Mac Tools championship dragster that exceeds on hot, greasy racetracks.

Dixon paired against Tony Schumacher in the final run of the session. Both drivers would hold on to their previous qualifying positions. The Miller Lite dragster shook the tires and Dixon finished at 13.171-seconds (76.15 mph) to Schumacher's time of 6.132 ET (134.51 mph). "We're qualified," said Dixon, "so when you make a run like that you can shut it off and not have to use the equipment."

By qualifying No. 3, Dixon took a few more points away and contributed to his 323-point lead. "I really like the position that we're in," said Dixon. "I'd rather be 300-some points up than 300-some points down at this point in the year, so I feel great about that. At every race we try and qualify and from that point try and win. Things don't change."

Dixon has the qualified part down and tomorrow when he pairing against No.14 qualifier Luigi Novelli in round one of final eliminations, he'll set out to win four rounds, further extend his points lead and tie his own record of nine wins and 14 final round appearances.

ESPN2's television coverage of the rain-delayed Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals will air Oct. 12 at 5:00 PM ET. Highlights can also be seen on ESPN2's NHRA 2Day at 11:00 AM ET on Oct.5th. Or click on www.nhra.com tomorrow to hear the live web broadcast of final round coverage.

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Dick LaHaie , Luigi Novelli