Defending POWERade NHRA Champion Larry Dixon secured the No. 3 spot headed into tomorrow's final elimination round at the Sixth Annual Lucas Oil Nationals in Joliet, IL. Dixon drove his Miller Lite dragster to a 4.550-second run at a speed of 325.30 mph during the third and final qualifying session The threat of nearby tornado's and local rain limited Friday qualifying to one pass, making the two sessions remaining critical for those looking for a top qualifying position. Although his first lap of 69.91 mph (13.456 ET) wasn't strong, both Dixon and Kalitta smoked the tires, the Miller Lite dragster would bounce back during the final qualifying pass. Up against David Baca, the Don Prudhomme dragster produced an impressive speed of 328.86 mph paired with a time of 4.550 ET, beating Baca's speed of 325.30mph (4.561 ET). "We're happy, we secured a good qualifying position." Crew chief Dick LaHaie may be happy, but he's far from content. "It's a matter of finding the right combination." Sounding like Einstein or Edison, LaHaie is much like a scientist but better. He's a driver, a crew chief, and a man that has witnessed forty-five years of racing. "It's the competition that keeps me going; knowing that we have the best car out there." He pauses then concludes, "till we get that combination." The combination that'll allow the dragster to excel on a cool track? The combination that'll produce the much anticipated 4.4 run? Or the current combination that delivers victories and paves the path toward a second championship title. Whatever the combination, be sure it won't take another forty-five years if even forty-five days. The first round of Sunday eliminations begin at 11AM and will pair Dixon against his teammate Tommy Johnson's fianc?e Melanie Troxel. Catch ESPN2 Sunday June 1st for final eliminations and continuing on Tuesday June 3rd at 2:30-4:30PM (ET). Coverage will re-air on Saturday June 7th from 6-9:00PM (ET) on ESPN2. If you missed the premiere of "Junkyard Mega-Wars: Speedway Showdown" featuring members of Dixon's crew building a car from junkyard parts competing against teams from Indy and Stock Car racing, then tune in tomorrow, June 1st at 6PM ET/PT when the show re-airs. For more information click on: www.snakeracing.com
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