TOPEKA, KS (May 26) - Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team continues to qualifying well this season, but not without their share of adversity. Just after completing his opening burnout, Dixon put the Miller Lite Dragster...
TOPEKA, KS (May 26) - Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team continues to qualifying well this season, but not without their share of adversity.
Just after completing his opening burnout, Dixon put the Miller Lite Dragster into reverse and backed up to the starting line where he began to make his final preparations to stage the car and make his first qualifying lap of the day, his third overall. But before he could put out the top pair of pre-stage bulbs on the Christmas tree, NHRA Official Starter Rick Stewart instructed both Dixon and Tony Schumacher to abort their runs as a malfunction was found in the Compulink starting system.
Both the Miller Lite and Army teams were given the chance to hurry back to their pit areas and fine tune their dragsters for a second attempt at their third qualifying laps, which would now take place amidst the third qualifying session of Funny Car. Crew Chief Dick LaHaie and squad thrashed away and were able to get back in time to run a respectable lap of 4.651 seconds at 315.05 mph in the hot afternoon sun.
The second and final qualifying lap for Dixon saw similar numbers as he cruised to his second 4.65-second pass of the day.
After it was all said and done, Dixon qualified in the No. 7 position for Sunday's elimination round at the Advance Auto Parts Nationals with his pass of 4.630 seconds at 317.72 mph on Friday, marking the eighth time he has landed on the top half of the ladder out of nine races so far this season.
The No. 7-seeded Dixon will meet No. 10 Rhonda Hartman Smith in Sunday's opening round of eliminations. Dixon holds a record of 3 wins and only 1 loss to Hartman-Smith, while tomorrow's pairing will be the first meeting of the season for the two Top Fuel pilots.
Dixon comes into this weekend's race just three points behind Mike Dunn for the Winston Top Fuel points lead. Sunday's elimination rounds will be televised by ESPN with coverage from 3:30 - 6:00 PM (et).