Sonoma: Larry Dixon finals summary

Miller Lite'S Dixon holds 98-point Top Fuel lead. SONOMA (Aug. 4) - Going into the 15th annual Fram Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, Miller Lite / Snake Racing driver Larry Dixon had high expectations of extending his lead in the NHRA ...

Miller Lite'S Dixon holds 98-point Top Fuel lead.

SONOMA (Aug. 4) - Going into the 15th annual Fram Autolite Nationals at Infineon Raceway, Miller Lite / Snake Racing driver Larry Dixon had high expectations of extending his lead in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points standings. He did just that although it was by only one point after taking the No. 1 position in the qualifying lineup giving him the slight edge. It was Dixon's seventh pole run of the year and 19th of his career

On Sunday, Dixon defeated Ken Zeal in the first round covering the quarter mile distance in a time of 4.633 seconds, 316.60 mph, but it was nemesis Darrell Russell that took away the luster of a pristine weekend in the quarterfinal round of eliminations. Dixon lost traction almost immediately at the hit of the throttle. Crew Chief of the Miller Lite dragster, Dick LaHaie stated an unexpected set of circumstances with the choice of Goodyear tire compounds aided their situation.

"The reason they came out with that 1486 tire is because the guys didn't like the way it gripped on the starting line," said LaHaie. "It doesn't have enough initial traction. The 1430 doesn't have that much initial traction as the 1486. That's why the 1486 came out in April. So we put them on and ran them the last five races. We won the first two at Chicago and Columbus.

"We put the 1430 tire back on the car Saturday after we made two runs on Friday and it went right out there and did exactly what it was supposed to do. We went down the racetrack and qualified No. 1 (4.608 E.T.). Last night we had a little problem with a clutch disc, which slowed the car down (4.662 E.T), but it was right there with rest of them.

"First round this morning it was fine, no problem at all. We had new tires on it. So going into second round, we left the same tires on it. They were scuffed in; they have more traction when they are scuffed and we're thinking we're in good shape.

"But we failed to remember you couldn't run as much clutch with the 1430 as you can with a 1486 at the starting line. It's 100 per cent my fault, I should have taken a little bit of weight off the clutch. I'll take full responsibility, that's what they pay me for. We'll just go on to the next race. It's not leaps and bounds (gaining one point), but anytime you can gain anything is better than nothing."

Top Fuel points leader, Dixon now has amassed a total of 1,320 points and with chief rival, Kenny Bernstein also losing in the same round is now 98 points behind the Miller Lite team.

The next NHRA National event will be in two weeks for the running of the 21st annual Rugged Liner NHRA Nationals on Aug. 16 - 18 at the Colonel's Brainerd (MN.) International Raceway.

-www.snakeracing.com-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein