Baytown: Larry Dixon preview

DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM READY FOR ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RUN IN 2005 BAYTOWN, Texas (April 4, 2005) -- After racing to his first final-round appearance of the young 2005 NHRA season three weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla., two-time NHRA Top Fuel...

DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM READY FOR ANOTHER CHAMPIONSHIP RUN IN 2005

BAYTOWN, Texas (April 4, 2005) -- After racing to his first final-round appearance of the young 2005 NHRA season three weeks ago in Gainesville, Fla., two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon is cautiously optimistic that he and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team can make trips to the money round a pattern as Dixon aims to earn a third NHRA crown in four seasons. The 35-time NHRA winner knows that the easiest way to compete for a title is to win races.

After 17 wins en route to consecutive titles in 2002-03, Dixon and company finished sixth in the Top Fuel standings last season. The crew spent many long days in the Indiana race shop this past winter, which has proven to be worthwhile as the Miller Lite/Ameriquest dragster opened the 2005 season with a career-best performance, 4.481-seconds. With a career-best E.T., two 4.4-second runs, multiple 330-mph passes and a final-round visit, Dixon and the Dick LaHaie-led race team are confident they can compete for race wins and ultimately another championship in the incredibly competitive Top Fuel division.

Dixon eyes the 36th victory of his career when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes the first of two visits to the Lone Star state, April 8-10, for the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. Dixon recorded the first 4.4-second pass in NHRA history at the Houston facility in 1999.

"I think that if we can compete for wins each week, then we'll be in the hunt for a championship towards the end of the season," Dixon said. "Competing for race wins is more important to me at this point. I think that every run that we get provides good information for Dick (LaHaie) and Donnie (Bender) to be able to race and perform at a higher level. The level it takes to be able to win week-in and week-out. If you do that, you can win championships."

Dixon's Houston Memory

"We went to the second Houston race in 1999 and it was our second race with Dick LaHaie as crew chief and we won the race. It was neat because earlier that year at Houston, we ran the first 4.40 and Doug Herbert ended up winning the race running 4.60s that weekend. Dicko (LaHaie) was his crew chief at the time. We had the national record, but Dick and Doug (Herbert) got the win. We showed up at the second Houston race with LaHaie tuning our car and (Gary) Scelzi bettered our performance and got the E.T. record, but we beat him in the final. It reconfirmed what I always believe and how LaHaie runs his program. He tries to run the best he can without giving it away, and he's been very successful that way."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie