Baytown: Larry Dixon preview

DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM HOPE TO MASTER THE FIELD AT HOUSTON BAYTOWN, Texas (March 27, 2006) -- This game of NHRA drag racing can be a rather puzzling pastime. At times, you can be on top of the world setting records and winning races and just...

DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM HOPE TO MASTER THE FIELD AT HOUSTON

BAYTOWN, Texas (March 27, 2006) -- This game of NHRA drag racing can be a rather puzzling pastime. At times, you can be on top of the world setting records and winning races and just days later can be left scratching your head like a top-ranked golfer that suddenly missed the cut. The great thing is there's always another race just around the corner.

For two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon and his Miller Lite Top Fuel team, the next chance to solve the puzzle is the 19th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals, March 31-April 2, at Houston Raceway Park. Dixon, who enters the event ranked fourth in the ultra-competitive Top Fuel division, is a two-time winner of the Houston race. He also made history at H.R.P. in 1999 after driving his Miller Lite rail to the first 4.4-second elapsed time in NHRA history.

"Houston has always been a great track for us to race at," Dixon. "I'm excited to get down there and run. Every race is a new adventure for us, and it's another race of experience that Donnie (Bender) has under his belt. I'd like to think that every race that we go to, we'll constantly get better. Donnie has done great and I think every race adds to his information bank and I think he'll just keep getting better."

With just three races under his belt, first-year crew chief Don Bender has Dixon positioned solidly near the top of the Top Fuel standings. Dixon, a 38-time NHRA winner, has qualified his Miller Lite rail second at the past two events as the Dixon/Bender tandem has proven they have one of the best cars in drag racing's elite category.

With the weather forecast calling for warm temperatures in the low 80s and scattered thunderstorms, the race teams will need to be on top of their game to battle the curveballs that Mother Nature's could feed them this weekend at Houston. Add in mastering the new 2420 Goodyear tire and the correct equation that leads to a victory could be a tricky one.

"With this new tire, the weather conditions really play into things," Dixon said. "If you have cool weather and a tight race track, the cars will try to run hard and get on the rev limiter sooner and that creates more challenges for the teams to deal with. If it's warmer, the engine doesn't rev up as quick. It always keeps things interesting."

Interesting and exciting: two of the more appropriate terms to describe the current state of NHRA drag racing.

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon