DIXON RACES TO SECOND ROUND FINISH AT INFINEON RACEWAY SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2004) -- Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team maintained their place in the NHRA Top Fuel points standings despite falling in round two Sunday at...
DIXON RACES TO SECOND ROUND FINISH AT INFINEON RACEWAY
SONOMA, Calif. (Aug. 1, 2004) -- Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team maintained their place in the NHRA Top Fuel points standings despite falling in round two Sunday at Infineon Raceway.
In the opening round of Top Fuel eliminations, the two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion overcame an aggressive tune-up to defeat No. 11 qualifier John Smith. The Miller Lite rail raced to a run of 4.973 seconds at 311.56 mph to defeat Smith's run of 5.996 at 237.34. Dixon ran his career record to 7-0 versus Smith.
Dixon then used a Dick LaHaie tune-up to power to his second quickest run of the weekend by driving his Miller Lite dragster to a performance of 4.664 at 309.06, but rival Brandon Bernstein's dragster was slightly quicker racing to a pass of 4.619 at 318.32 to earn the narrow victory in the second round of Top Fuel eliminations. Dixon remains sixth in the Top Fuel points chase, just 13 points behind fifth place driver Scott Kalitta.
"The last two runs in qualifying, we shook the tires," Dixon said. "Our normal change would be to adjust the air pressure in the tires and we can't do that anymore. So, you have to find other ways to do the same thing. We were lucky to win the first round because the car shook the tires again and I pedaled it and then it started to wheelstand and I pedaled it again and we got the win light.
"You almost have to back the car down to get it to go down the track, and at that point start working on trying to make it go faster and that's what we had to do for the second round. We went down the track and ran a 4.66. Everyone on the team is working really hard. Before the rule changes, we were getting pretty close and now there's been so many rule changes in the last three races that we're still learning and adjusting."
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 23rd annual Lucas Oil Nationals, Aug. 12-15, at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minn. Dixon won at Brainerd in 1999 and 2001.
ESPN2 will televise three hours of final eliminations coverage from the FRAM-Autolite Nationals at 8 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Aug. 1.