DIXON MAKES STRONG MOVE UP QUALIFYING LADDER AT VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 13, 2006) -- Larry Dixon and the rest of the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster showed a bit of patience Friday night during the second qualifying session...
DIXON MAKES STRONG MOVE UP QUALIFYING LADDER AT VIRGINIA MOTORSPORTS PARK
RICHMOND, Va., (Oct. 13, 2006) -- Larry Dixon and the rest of the Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster showed a bit of patience Friday night during the second qualifying session at the Torco Racing Fuels NHRA Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park.
Crew chief Don Bender was just about to start the dragster and have Dixon drive it through the water box on the starting line when they were told to wait. The car in front of them oiled down the track -- a process that took nearly an hour to clean up.
In that hour, the track got cooler but the team wasn't concerned. Dixon drove his Top Fuel entry to a 4.557-second pass at 314.75 mph, moving up from 12th to the No. 6 spot.
"I think especially considering we had to wait an hour for the oil down, the guys did a great job making adjustments to the car," Dixon said. "On the first run we tried to run a 4.55 and that may have been a little early to run that. The car spun the tires pretty aggressively and I ended up shutting it off. The second session was better all around."
Dixon said Bender and the crew already has a plan for Saturday's sessions.
"The air is good and that's already been proven by the way the Pro Stock cars have been flying beyond comprehension," Dixon said. "The track should be warmer on Saturday and that will give us a little more grip. I think the track conditions will come around to our tuneup. We're going to try and run a 4.51 or 4.52 in the first session and then go from there.
"These fuel cars rely on having rubber at the top end of the track. They just put down the concrete and asphalt in March and it just needs more cars running down the track. But you know the track is good. We've seen (Top Alcohol Funny Car driver) Frank Manzo and (Pro Stocker) Greg Anderson lay down fantastic runs already. Hopefully we can fire off some equally stellar ETs. The conditions are primed for record times."
Dixon -- a 38-time NHRA event winner behind the wheel of the Don Prudhomme-owned dragster -- earned his first career No. 1 qualifying award in Richmond during his rookie season in 1995. He also has a win (2000) and a runner-up (1999) finish there.
Qualifying for the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., continues Saturday at 12:30 & 3:30 p.m. Final eliminations are slated for 11 a.m. on Sunday. All the action can be seen on ESPN2 starting Saturday at 10 p.m. (ET) and continuing on Sunday at 7 p.m. (ET).