Sonoma: Dixon Friday report

SONOMA, CA (Aug. 3) Looking to take over the lead in the Top Fuel points race this weekend, Larry Dixon began this weekend's 14th Annual Fram Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway by qualifying the Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Lite Dragster in...

SONOMA, CA (Aug. 3) Looking to take over the lead in the Top Fuel points race this weekend, Larry Dixon began this weekend's 14th Annual Fram Autolite Nationals at Sears Point Raceway by qualifying the Don Prudhomme Racing Miller Lite Dragster in the No. 3 spot on Friday.

Sears Point Raceway has big plans to change its drag strip for the 2002 season, which for the first time will separate the NHRA quarter mile from the NASCAR Winston Cup road course. But that didn't help the NRHA crew chiefs who needed to try and negotiate the tricky track and its' short, 80-foot concrete launch pad this year.

Miller Lite Team Crew Chief Dick LaHaie would put his expertise, as well as past success at Sears Point Raceway to the test for the opening qualifying session. In addition to tuning Dixon to a runner-up finish last season, LaHaie's resume at Sears Point includes a runner-up finish as a Top Fuel pilot in 1988 before tuning Scott Kalitta to the 1994 Top Fuel crown.

LaHaie's experience paid off for Dixon and crew as the Miller Lite Dragster rolled out of the trailer to record low elapsed time of opening session with his pass of 4.626 seconds at 308.50 mph to claim the No. 1 position. The evening's qualifying round saw Dixon post a lap of 4.591 seconds at 319.83 mph to finish No. 3 after the first day.

Dixon's career best effort at Sears Point was his runner-up finish to Doug Kalitta last season. Prior to 2000, Dixon had never won a round of elimination racing at Sonoma. The Miller Lite Driver enters this weekend sitting second in the points race, just 14 behind leader Kenny Bernstein. Dixon has reached five final rounds this season, including wins at Gainesville, Fla, Columbus, Ohio and Denver.

Two qualifying sessions remain on Saturday and are scheduled for 2:00 and 5:00 PM PT. Qualifying rounds will be televised on ESPN2 on Saturday from 10:00 PM-Midnight ET while elimination rounds will air Sunday from 4:00-6:00 PM ET and later from 11:00 PM-Midnight ET.

www.snakeracing.com

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie