Dixon dominates on Daddy’s Day
Englishtown, Sunday: Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (2002-03) Larry Dixon used a stellar Dick LaHaie tune-up to score his fifth consecutive Father’s Day victory and the 37th win of his career Sunday at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Top Fuel racing’s winningest active racer defeated No. 16 qualifier Mitch King, veteran driver Cory McClenathan and Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta, before besting David Grubnic in the final round. Dixon and the Miller Lite team remain third in the POWERade Top Fuel standings. With the win, Dixon sits just six points behind second place driver Tony Schumacher and 68 behind Kalitta.
“This is unbelievable,” Dixon said. “To do this on Father’s Day like we have, I feel like (Bob) Glidden at Indy or something. I had an 8,000 horsepower bracket car this weekend. The slowest we ran was 4.55 and the quickest was 4.48. We made eight great runs in all kinds of conditions.”
After blasting the 25th No. 1 qualifying position of his career, the 36-time NHRA winner opened race day by driving to an easy win against Mitch King. Dixon cruised the Miller Lite/Ameriquest rail to a pass of 4.535 seconds at 325.61 mph, while King’s dragster suffered a mechanical failure and broke at the starting line.
In round two, Dixon was pitted against longtime rail driver McClenathan, who he defeated in the final round at Raceway Park last season. The Miller Lite dragster advanced to the semifinal when Dixon raced to a run of 4.549 at 327.27, while Cory Mac’s dragster lost traction and slowed to a pass of 6.287 at 122.57. Dixon’s speed was the fastest of round two of Top Fuel eliminations.
Dixon raised his career mark to 20-16 against rival D. Kalitta when the six-time Raceway Park finalist blistered the quarter mile in 4.522 at 330.63, while Kalitta’s rail lost traction and slowed to a run of 5.095 at 232.03 as Dixon advanced to his fourth final round of the 2005 season.
In his fourth consecutive final-round appearance at Raceway Park, Dixon blasted the Miller Lite rail to a pass of 4.533 at 329.91 to defeat the Kalitta Motorsports driver in their second final-round meeting in three races. Grubnic’s rail lost traction and Dixon earn his third career victory at the New Jersey track.
“We raced here in May, June and July,” Dixon said. “It’s always a great track and that credit goes to the Napp family. They run this track all the time and there’s always rubber on the track. We know we’ve got a fresh track no matter when we run here. The track is always in excellent shape.”
“We’ve qualified on the pole and won the race before, I don’t recall when, but we have,” LaHaie added. “This was a good weekend. We found something in the car this weekend and learned a lot. The car responded to the changes that we made and it’s now tuneable.”
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