Sonoma: Larry Dixon Friday summary

Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualify no. 2 after first day at Fram-Autolite Nationals. SONOMA, CA (AUG. 1) -- Defending POWERade NHRA Champion Larry Dixon earned the No. 2 qualifying position Friday at the 16th Annual Fram-Autolite...

Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster qualify no. 2 after first day at Fram-Autolite Nationals.

SONOMA, CA (AUG. 1) -- Defending POWERade NHRA Champion Larry Dixon earned the No. 2 qualifying position Friday at the 16th Annual Fram-Autolite Nationals in Sonoma, CA (Aug.1-3rd). Dixon drove the Miller Lite dragster to a 4.584-second run at a speed of 322.50 mph during the first qualifying session of the day.

For the second qualifying attempt, crew chief Dick LaHaie decided to play it safe and directed the Miller Lite/ Mac Tools dragster to pull away from the line. Walking away from the starting line and the dragster, LaHaie confidently defended the decision. "First of all, the track is so cold we're really not going to learn anything, all we're going to do is qualify No. 1 or No. 2. It's one less run that we've got to make. I said after Bristol, that if it got too cold and they ran us too late, I wouldn't run."

LaHaie is referring to the crash in Bristol, Tennessee earlier this year when the Don Prudhomme dragster cut a tire, slammed the wall, slide across both lanes and hit the opposite wall before coming to a stop.

"What if we were to run down and blow it up, we'd have lost the car and more," said LaHaie. "They (fans) don't realize how much work it is, I know they paid good money to see everyone run. They see everyone else run, and we didn't. I guess we're the bad guys this time. But I have to look out for our equipment and for Larry, it's my job."

Fortunately Dixon's first qualifying run of 4.584 (ET) would guarantee the NHRA points leader the No. 2 spot headed into Saturday's qualifying sessions. The third session of qualifying begins tomorrow at 12:30PM (ET) followed by the final session at 3:30PM (ET).

Catch ESPN2 tomorrow for qualifying at 8-10:00 PM (ET) and Sunday, Aug 3rd, ESPN will air final eliminations at 5-6:00 PM (ET).

-www.snakeracing.com-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie