Topeka: Dixon faces Herbert in first round

TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 30) - Having qualified sixth at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals, Larry Dixon & the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster look to stay in contention for the Winston Top Fuel Championship as they put their...

TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 30) - Having qualified sixth at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals, Larry Dixon & the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster look to stay in contention for the Winston Top Fuel Championship as they put their perfect record of four wins and no losses against Doug Herbert this season on the line in Sunday's opening round at Heartland Park Topeka.

Over his six-year career, Dixon owns a mark of seven wins and just one loss in eight total meetings between the two Top Fuel pilots. The only time Dixon has come up short against the Snap-On Tools car was during the semi-finals of the 1999 Gatornationals in Gainesville, FL. The last time the two drivers met, Dixon defeated Herbert in the semis in Richmond, VA en route to his first win of the season.

Adding interest to the Dixon-Herbert pairing is Miller Lite Crew Chief Dick LaHaie. LaHaie, the 1987 Winston Top Fuel Champion, served as the tuner for Herbert's team for the majority of last season before joining Prudhomme's camp exactly one year ago before the 1999 Topeka event. Since taking over wrenching duties for the Miller Lite/Raybestos car, LaHaie's squad has not lost to his former team.

Dixon earned the No. 6 spot with his pass of 4.643 seconds at 306.95 mph recorded on Friday night. Saturday's final two qualifying attempts saw Dixon lose traction in the right lane on his first run (9.98 seconds at 82 mph) before shutting off early during the afternoon pass in the left lane (4.77 seconds at 249 mph).

"I am not concerned about the way the car is running at all. We have a good race car," said Dixon. "As last night has shown, Friday night's session was the good session - everyone ran good. Today we just were working to try and improve our positioning but the track conditions weren't as good as last night. We got some good data and I feel real good about tomorrow."

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme