After claiming the Top Fuel pole on an unseasonably warm Saturday at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Larry Dixon showed no emotion over how cooler temperatures forecast for today could affect championship eliminations in the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.
Cooler temperatures would provide better traction for all categories and help pro teams get closer to reaching maximum horsepower.
"My job is the same whether it's 60 (degrees) or 160," Dixon said. "I know the Al-Anabi Racing team is going to give me a good racehorse."
Dixon's best run came Friday when he covered the 1,000 feet in 3.904 seconds at 312.78 mph. It held up to give him the 50th pole of his career and third at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
His performance was far off the track elapsed-time record of 3.776 seconds he set during the NHRA event in October.
After temperatures of 92 degrees Friday and 89 degrees Saturday, today's high is expected to be below 80.
John Force, who won his 15th NHRA Funny Car title last year, became the low qualifier in the last session with a run of 4.136 seconds (309.27 mph).
Reigning event Pro Stock champion Mike Edwards won his third pole at Las Vegas with a best run of 6.695 seconds (206.51 mph).
Jason Line, who has won the first two Pro Stock titles this season, qualified second, but that might not bode well for his KB Racing team owned by Las Vegan Ken Black. Reigning and four-time series champion Greg Anderson, one of Line's teammates, qualified 10th. If Line and Anderson win their first-round matchups, they would meet in the second round.
A third teammate, Ronnie Humphrey, qualified fifth.
■ LIVE ON TV -- Today's final round of eliminations in the three professional categories is scheduled to air live on ESPN2 (31).
Race coverage that begins at 1:30 p.m. on the cable sports network must be completed in time for the start of a major league baseball game at 5.
Early elimination rounds will be tape-delayed.
The tight schedule will have Sportsman eliminations beginning at 9 a.m., followed by the second round of Top Alcohol eliminations before pro racing begins at 11.
■ FAILED TEST -- Top Fuel driver Mike Strasburg, who was not among the 16 quickest to make today's elimination rounds, was disqualified from the event and suspended for one year after he failed to produce a urine sample as part of the NHRA's random drug and alcohol testing program. Strasburg can appeal the ruling.
Contact reporter Jeff Wolf at email@example.com or 702-383-0247.