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Drag Racing Story of the Day!

Dixon, Bazemore, Yates, Savoie Grab Top Qualifying Spots
At AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals

By NHRA Communications

LAS VEGAS - Larry Dixon set an elapsed time track record and claimed the No. 1 qualifying spot on Saturday at the inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals.

Dixon sped to a 4.509-second run at 323.19 mph to set the pace in Top Fuel competition at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

Whit Bazemore, Jim Yates, and Angelle Savoie each earned the top qualifying spot for their respective categories at the $1.9 million race, the 23rd of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.

This is the fourth time this season Dixon has claimed the No. 1 qualifying position in his Miller Lite Dragster. Dixon has six wins in nine final-round appearances and is trying to take over the lead in the Winston Top Fuel points standings. Kenny Bernstein has a 15-point lead going into Sunday's elimination rounds.

Bernstein has claimed two No. 1 qualifiers and two victories in the previous events run at The Strip.

"This is the second straight week that we have set the track record and gotten the (No. 1 qualifying spot)," Dixon said. "(Crew chief) Dick LaHaie brings a tremendous amount to the table. Ever since Brainerd (Minn.) we have had a great car. I have been very impressed.

"Going into every race, we are trying to be the top qualifier and win the event. This place is no different. It's just a matter of finessing and fine-tuning the car to meet the track conditions." 

Dixon and Bernstein are on opposite ends of the racing ladder and could only meet in the finals. They faced each other last weekend at the Texas Motorplex event, with Dixon coming away with the victory in the semifinals. Dixon went on to claim his sixth victory of the season.

"I'd rather have the points lead than (the No. 1 spot)," Dixon said. But if things go our way and we are able to win, we will get the points. It seems like in the last couple of months, if we are going to win a race, we have to go through Kenny first."

Bazemore set both ends of the track record in his Matco Tools Pontiac Firebird on Friday. The 4.748 run at 323.04 set the pace for the Funny Car order. Bazemore has earned the top spot on the ladder in eight of the last 11 races.

The last time Bazemore competed at The Strip, he lost to John Force in the finals.

"I never thought I would have eight No. 1 qualifying positions," Bazemore said. "It has been a lot of fun. A lot has changed (since the last trip to The Strip). Our team has a tremendous amount of confidence. Obviously our performance is backing up our confidence."

Yates' qualifying effort of 6.949 at 197.77 in a Splitfire/Peak Pontiac Grand Am was the best in the Pro Stock category.

Savoie, who can lock up her second straight NHRA Winston crown this weekend, set the pace in Pro Stock Motorcycle with a 7.289 pass at 182.35 on a Team Winston Suzuki GSXR.

Final eliminations begin at 10:30 a.m. on Sunday.

LAS VEGAS -- First-round pairings for professional eliminations Sunday for the Inaugural AC Delco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, the 23rd of 24 events in the $50 million NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series. Pairings based on results in qualifying, which ended Saturday.

Top Fuel -- 1. Larry Dixon, 4.509 seconds, 323.19 mph vs. 16. Brady Kalivoda, 4.781, 304.87; 2. Kenny Bernstein, 4.543, 326.08 vs. 15. Doug Herbert, 4.707, 311.63; 3. Gary Scelzi, 4.549, 319.67 vs. 14. Gary Clapshaw, 4.689, 312.42; 4. Darrell Russell, 4.576, 322.11 vs. 13. Scott Weis, 4.673, 319.22; 5. Mike Dunn, 4.593, 321.12 vs. 12. Clay Millican, 4.667, 318.62; 6. Doug Kalitta, 4.594, 317.87 vs. 11. Rhonda Hartman-Smith, 4.655, 310.27; 7. Andrew Cowin, 4.596, 319.90 vs. 10. Tony Schumacher, 4.653, 320.74; 8. Joe Hartley, 4.639, 317.12 vs. 9. Don Lampus, 4.643, 316.75. 

Funny Car -- 1. Whit Bazemore, Pontiac Firebird, 4.748, 323.04 vs. 16. Jerry Toliver, Firebird, 5.098, 307.51; 2. John Force, Ford Mustang, 4.790, 322.42 vs. 15. Bob Bode, Dodge Avenger, 5.047, 300.86; 3. Tony Pedregon, Mustang, 4.836, 320.13 vs. 14. John Lawson, Firebird, 4.982, 306.67; 4. Tim Wilkerson, Firebird, 4.838, 316.52 vs. 13. Al Hofmann, Firebird, 4.975, 294.05; 5. Dean Skuza, Avenger, 4.855, 315.64 vs. 12. Del Worsham, Firebird, 4.973, 309.49; 6. Scotty Cannon, Firebird, 4.856, 319.82 vs. 11. Bob Gilbertson, Firebird, 4.912, 310.34; 7. Tommy Johnson Jr., Chevy Camaro, 4.859, 313.66 vs. 10. Bruce Sarver, Firebird, 4.908, 306.88; 8. Ron Capps, Camaro, 4.866, 310.91 vs. 9. Frank Pedregon, Firebird, 4.888, 306.46. 

Pro Stock -- 1. Jim Yates, Pontiac Grand Am, 6.949, 197.77 vs. 16. Kenny Koretsky, Grand Am, 6.997, 196.50; 2. Mike Edwards, Chevy Cavalier, 6.954, 198.41 vs. 15. Warren Johnson, Grand Am, 6.996, 197.57; 3. Ron Krisher, Cavalier, 6.961, 198.06 vs. 14. V. Gaines, Cavalier, 6.993, 197.25; 4. Bruce Allen, Grand Am, 6.963, 197.65 vs. 13. Hurley Blakeney, Ford Mustang, 6.992, 196.82; 5. Tom Hammonds, Cavalier, 6.964, 198.32 vs. 12. Troy Coughlin, Cavalier, 6.989, 197.33; 6. George Marnell, Grand Am, 6.974, 197.54 vs. 11. Mark Osborne, Dodge Neon R/T, 6.984, 197.62; 7. Mark Pawuk, Grand Am, 6.976, 197.25 vs. 10. Rickie Smith, Grand Am, 6.983, 197.19; 8. Tom Martino, Grand Am, 6.979, 197.19 vs. 9. Kurt Johnson, Cavalier, 6.981, 198.17. 

Pro Stock Bike -- 1. Angelle Savoie, Suzuki, 7.289, 182.35 vs. 16. Sam Hurwitz, Suzuki, 7.436, 178.90; 2. Matt Hines, Suzuki, 7.310, 187.29 vs. 15. Fred Camarena, Suzuki, 7.432, 179.11; 3. Shawn Gann, Suzuki, 7.311, 186.38 vs. 14. Todd Doege, Suzuki, 7.428, 180.98; 4. GT Tonglet, Suzuki, 7.336, 180.79 vs. 13. Blaine Hale, Kawasaki, 7.428, 178.38; 5. Antron Brown, Suzuki, 7.355, 180.67 vs. 12. Steve Johnson, Suzuki, 7.406, 178.66; 6. Mike Berry, Suzuki, 7.367, 181.32 vs. 11. Ron Ayers, Suzuki, 7.398, 179.28; 7. Reggie Showers, Suzuki, 7.377, 182.03 vs. 10. Craig Treble, Suzuki, 7.391, 780.00; 8. Thomas Miceli, Suzuki, 7.383, 178.07 vs. 9. Geno Scali, Kawasaki, 7.387, 180.24. 

www.nhra.com

 

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