SONOMA, CA (Aug. 5) - Larry Dixon's personal track-record elapsed time of 4.681 seconds at 313.22 mph set Friday night in the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster held on to secure his personal best No. 5 qualifying effort at Sears Point...
SONOMA, CA (Aug. 5) - Larry Dixon's personal track-record elapsed time of 4.681 seconds at 313.22 mph set Friday night in the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster held on to secure his personal best No. 5 qualifying effort at Sears Point Raceway heading into Sunday's elimination round at the 13th Annual Fram Autolite Nationals.
With his No. 5 seeding, Dixon will pair up against No. 12 Bobby Baldwin (4.82 seconds at 299.26 mph) for the second time this season and the second time in his career. Dixon holds a 1-0 mark after defeating Baldwin in the only previous meeting between the two top fuel pilots which came in the first round at the season-opening Winnternationals in Pomona, CA.
Dixon began Saturday's qualifying sessions with an opening lap of 4.73 seconds while matching Bob Vandergriff Jr.'s top speed mark of 314.97 mph. Looking to get a handle on the heat of the track surface before Sunday's elimination round, crew chief Dick LaHaie aimed for consistency in the afternoon round. Dixon used his final qualifying attempt to post a lap of 4.83 seconds at 292.58 mph.
"Dick LaHaie has this car all set up, so I just get in there and mash the pedal," said Dixon. "It felt good early and spun the tires but we still ran a 4.83. We are going to need to do better than that for tomorrow."
The Southern California native's previous best qualifying effort at Sonoma was a No. 7 seeding in 1998 where he posted a first round finish to David Grubnic. Dixon, who now resides in Indianapolis, is in search of his first elimination round win after posting five first round finishes since climbing behind the wheel in 1995.
Sunday's elimination round begins at 11 AM and will be televised by ESPN 2.