TOPEKA, KS (May 25) - Defending POWERade NHRA Champion and current points leader Larry Dixon scored his first career win at Heartland Park Topeka Sunday during the O'Reilly Summer Nationals. Dixon claimed the title after defeating Doug Kalitta in...
TOPEKA, KS (May 25) - Defending POWERade NHRA Champion and current points leader Larry Dixon scored his first career win at Heartland Park Topeka Sunday during the O'Reilly Summer Nationals. Dixon claimed the title after defeating Doug Kalitta in the final round with a lap of 4.534ET at 327.82 mph.
The first round of Sunday eliminations paired Dixon and the Don Prudhomme Miller Lite dragster against No.16 qualifier Chris Karamesines. But Dixon's 4.533-second run at 329.67 mph easily defeated Karamesines 4.862ET and speed of 286.38 mph.
In their first meeting of Sunday eliminations this season, Dixon took on No.9 qualifier Paul Romine in round two. But Romine's day ended there when Dixon left him at the line with a 4.554ET (325.92 mph) to his 6.411ET (134.73 mph).
In the semifinals the Miller Lite dragster met No. 5 qualifier Darrell Russell. Dixon previously held a career record of 4-1 against Russell in the finals (W-Columbus 01, W-Brainerd 01, W-Bristol 02, L-Topeka 02, W-Atlanta 03) but would improve his record to 5-1 by defeating Russell with a lap of 329.67 mph and a 4.541ET.
Last stop, No.6 qualifier Doug Kalitta in the finals. The pairing marked the third time this year the two have met in the final round. Dixon defeated Kalitta earlier this year in Las Vegas the same weekend the Miller Lite dragster set the NHRA national speed record of 332.75 mph. The two met again last weekend in Englishtown, NJ this time the win going to Kalitta. But the golden statue went to Dixon and the Miller Lite Don Prudhomme team this weekend with a lap time of 4.534ET (327.82mph) to Kalitta's 4.575ET (324.20 mph). Dixon improved his career record to 3-2 against the Mac Tools driver in the finals (L-Sonoma 00, W-Denver 01, W-Dallas 01, L-Englishtown 03).
"They're a great car, anytime we race them we have to race hard," said Dixon of Kalitta. "I gotta race em' hard on the line, and LaHaie has to race them hard on the track. They're strong. They had the better car last week and this week it looks like we had the better car."
Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier in Topeka both this year and last but had yet to win a title in Kansas. "I was happy to win here in Topeka. There's only a couple of tracks on the tour that I haven't won at, and this was won of them," said Dixon after the win. "LaHaie and half our crew have won here and I hadn't, so now I can hang with them."
"It's one of those things... you know you have a good racecar and you just don't want to screw it up. You just let it go out there and do it's talking and go."
Dixon and the Miller Lite team hopes to keep the momentum alive when they visit Chicago June 12-15th for the Pontiac Excitement NHRA Nationals.