Baytown: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon enters the 23rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in fourth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails third place Doug Kalitta by 24 points and points leader Cory McClenathan by 77 points....

* Larry Dixon enters the 23rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals in fourth place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He trails third place Doug Kalitta by 24 points and points leader Cory McClenathan by 77 points. Last month at the inaugural 4-Wide Nationals near Charlotte, Dixon was the No. 2 qualifier and lost in the semifinals.

* Dixon has been an excellent qualifier so far this season. He qualified second at Pomona, Calif., third at Phoenix, third at Gainesville, Fla. at second at Charlotte. Dixon's average qualifying position so far this year is 2.5. Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier 40 times in his career.

* Dixon won the season-opening Kragen O'Reilly Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. He won five races last season: Gainesville, Fla., Topeka, Kan., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio and Reading, Pa.

* One year ago at Houston, Dixon was the No. 7 qualifier. He defeated Del Cox, Jr. and Brandon Bernstein before losing to Tony Schumacher in the semifinals. Dixon won at Houston Raceway Park in 1999 and 2000.

* Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is currently third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 49 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 62 wins. Dixon is tied with Don Prudhomme for eighth place on the NHRA's all-time career victories list; Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Houston Raceway Park:

"We're four races into the season, and our Al-Anabi team is fourth in points. We're in pretty good shape, but I think we could be in better position than we are. We've lost some close races, but I know we have a great package when we roll into every event. I am looking forward to getting back into two-wide racing.

"Alan (Johnson), Jason (crew chief Jason McCulloch) and I have all had some success at Houston so I go into the race with a lot of confidence. Because of the time of year, the Houston Raceway Park track has always produced some good numbers, and I wouldn't expect anything less from it this year.

"Our Al-Anabi Racing team has been qualifying well this year even though we haven't sat on a pole yet. Last year we sat on a lot of poles but didn't win as many races as we did poles. We were the No. 1 qualifier five times in the six Countdown (Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs) races last year, but we didn't win any of the countdown races. This year, were concentrating on running consistently well but going down the track every time. So far, for the most part, that's been the case. We all hope that strategy will turn into race wins soon."

-source: al-anabi racing team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Brandon Bernstein