Keeping Pace

Dixon, Hight, Edwards and Treble lead NHRA Chicago final qualifying

Larry Dixon celebrates his 50th career NHRA Top Fuel National Event victory. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)
Larry Dixon celebrates his 50th career NHRA Top Fuel National Event victory. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)

Larry Dixon drove his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to the top of the field and posted a track record of 3.814-seconds at 317.42 mph. It was Dixon’s third No. 1 qualifier of the season and 43rd of his career.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

JOLIET, Ill. – Larry Dixon strengthened his points lead in Top Fuel as he raced to the No. 1 qualifier at the United Association Route 66 NHRA Nationals.

Robert Hight, Mike Edwards and Craig Treble also took the top spots in their respective categories at the 10th of 23 events on the NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.

Dixon drove his Al-Anabi Racing dragster to the top of the field and posted a track record of 3.814-seconds at 317.42 mph. It was Dixon’s third No. 1 qualifier of the season and 43rd of his career.

 “As in most cases during the year, you have to fire your shot on Friday to try and get on pole,” said Dixon. “Yesterday as late as we ran, we wanted to make a good run and fortunately it stuck. Today, it was a little warmer and the track was a little looser. Fortunatley we stayed on pole. We ran good in the first session and then had a belt come off on the second run. That cost us three bonus points but all and all it was a great job by Alan (Johnson, team manager) and Jason (McCulloch, crew chief).”

Defending world champion Tony Schumacher qualified third for eliminations, while Top Fuel sensation Antron Brown sits in the eighth spot.

            In Funny Car, Robert Hight followed up his success of three consecutive race wins for the season by racing to the top of the field. Hight drove his Auto Club Ford Mustang to a 4.067 at 313.15. It’s his fourth of the season and 36th of his career.

“It doesn’t change you mindset,” said Hight, who was set to race teammate John Force before Cruz Pedregon was disqualified. “We don’t race the other guy. We go up there and race the conditions. Jimmy knows what he can get away with based on the conditions. We go up there and do our deal. It was just like in Topeka when we had a single we would have looked stupid if we would have gone up there and smoked the tires. What did we do we went out there and set low ET for the whole weekend. There is no difference in how we approach racing Justin (Schriefer) or John tomorrow morning. If I try to make a difference I’ll be late on the light. You have to go up there assuming the other guy is going to be perfect. You just have to do your job. If you don’t he is going to beat you.”

            In Pro Stock Edwards followed up his win at Heartland Park Topeka with the No. 1 qualifier at Route 66 Raceway. Edwards drove his Penhall/Interstate Batteries Pontiac GXP to a 6.629 at 207.69. It’s Edwards’s Eighth No. 1 qualifier of the season in 10 races and 30th of his career.

            “Conditions were pretty much the same for but runs today; and we dodged all the rain drops and we just tried to make the best runs we could for the conditions we had,” said Edwards. “We made a really nice run this morning. Hats off to my guys for making the right call. They impress me all the time and the same goes for the guys back at the engine shop.”

            Treble rode his Valvoline Motorcycle Oils Suzuki to the top of the field in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a run of 6.932 at 188.96. It’s Treble’s first No. 1 qualifier of the season and fourth of his career.

            “They told me this was my first (No. 1 qualifier) in seven years and I had no idea it had been that long,” said Treble. “I’m with the right team to make it happen. Steve (Tartaglia, crew chief) worked so hard to make it happen and this is the fruits of his labor.”

            Sunday’s eliminations begin at 11 a.m.




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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.






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