Topeka: Dixon still third

TOPEKA, KS (Oct. 1) - Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster recorded a second round finish to Doug Kalitta at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals to remain third in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points race. The...

TOPEKA, KS (Oct. 1) - Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster recorded a second round finish to Doug Kalitta at the 12th Annual Advance Auto Parts Nationals to remain third in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points race.

The No. 6 seeded Dixon would begin the day meeting No. 11 seed Doug Herbert for the fifth time this season and the ninth time of his career. Miller Lite Team Crew Chief Dick LaHaie would remain perfect against his old team as Dixon improved his 2000 season mark to five wins and no losses against the former IHRA World Champion as his time of 4.663 seconds at 301 mph bettered Herbert's lap of 4.714 seconds at 303.16 mph.

The second round would see the Miller Lite/Raybestos car meeting a familiar foe as Dixon met MGM Grand Dragster pilot and No. 3-seeded Kalitta for the fourth time in the last six NHRA events and the seventh time overall this season. Leaving with a sizeable advantage at the starting line (.476/.511), Dixon seemed to be on his way to the semifinal round until the 6,000 horsepower engine threw off its blower belt within the first 100 feet giving Kalitta the victory with a time of 4.624 seconds to Dixon's time of 7.731 seconds.

Dixon, LaHaie and the Miller Team will stick around Heartland Park Topeka for an extra day to put the No. 91 car through its paces during testing sessions prior to next weekend's 13th Annual Autozone Nationals in Memphis, TN (Oct. 5-8).

"We were on our way to another round win when we broke a blower belt," said Dixon. "We are going to stay and test here tomorrow to try a few things with the engine and clutch to try and pick up the performance of the car. The only reason why we haven't tested sooner is that we haven't had an opportunity until now. The only time testing is worthwhile is the day after a race when you are at a good track to work with and you have enough good data from the weekend to try some things and see if it gets better or worse."

"As far as the points go, there are four races to go and we are two races out of first," said Dixon. "It's going to be pretty damn tough to make up that much ground. But when we set up at the beginning of the season, your goals are to win as many races as you can and try to win the Winston Championship. If you can't win the championship, then you want to finish as high as you can in the points and win as many races as you can. That part hasn't changed. There may be some people that have written us off, but I am going to go down fighting."

With the finish, Dixon (1,348) remains in third place in the top fuel point standings, 180 points behind first place Gary Scelzi (1,528) and trails second place Tony Schumacher by 151 points (1,499). Scelzi won his NHRA single season record seventh win of the year defeating Kalitta in the final.

www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie