RICHMOND, VA (Apr. 29) - Seeming to not have missed a beat following the consistency clinic he put on Houston, Larry Dixon piloted the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster to the No. 4 position Saturday at the Sixth Annual Moto1.net Nationals...
RICHMOND, VA (Apr. 29) - Seeming to not have missed a beat following the consistency clinic he put on Houston, Larry Dixon piloted the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster to the No. 4 position Saturday at the Sixth Annual Moto1.net Nationals presented by Chevrolet, saving his top lap for last with an effort of 4.637 seconds at 314.90 mph.
Combined with his four qualifying runs, followed by his four round wins in Houston two weeks ago (Apr. 13-16), Miller Lite Team crew chief Dick LaHaie has now tuned the No. 91 car to 11 consecutive laps ranging between 4.62 and 4.67 seconds, without a hint of tire smoke.
Dixon began the day as the No. 3 seed (4.672 at 307.30 mph) following Friday's lone qualifying session which saw only one lap from the 16-car top fuel field due to rain at Virginia Motorsports Park. The 33-year-old driver from Indianapolis cut exactly two-hundredths of a second off that time with his first pass on Saturday, clocking in at 4.652 seconds at 307.30 mph. For Dixon, the day's early lap seemed to be reminiscent of his 1996 win in Atlanta over Mike Dunn when the Miller Racing Dragster did a near wheel-stand before it settled down and gave Dixon the fifth NHRA win of his career. "The way the front end came up, I thought it was Atlanta 1996 all over again," said Dixon. "I knew if I could stay with it we would pick up, and we did."
Dixon's second run saw him pick up even a little more, almost another two-hundredths of a second to be exact, as LaHaie tuned the Miller Lite Dragster to it's best effort of the session at 4.637 seconds. Joe Amato won the pole with a pass of 4.563 seconds at 311.99 mph, followed by Kenny Bernstein's second-place time of 4.593 seconds at 312.93 mph.
"We expected the car to either shake or smoke on that last run because we made some new adjustments and were using some old tires," said LaHaie. "The car made it down the track pretty well though and we probably would have run a 4.61 if we had put on new tires. We are always trying to learn something each time we get down the track."
Dixon will face No. 13 seed Jim Bailey in the first round of Eliminations on Sunday, which are scheduled to begin at 11 AM EST. It will be the first career meeting between the two drivers.