Defending NHRA Powerade Champ Larry Dixon looks for his sixth win of series in Denver DENVER, CO. (July 14th)- Defending Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon is anxious to hit the road and get to Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado for the 24th...
Defending NHRA Powerade Champ Larry Dixon looks for his sixth win of series in Denver
DENVER, CO. (July 14th)- Defending Top Fuel Champion Larry Dixon is anxious to hit the road and get to Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Colorado for the 24th Annual Mopar Mile High Nationals (July 18-20th). Since their last race in St. Louis, the Miller Lite Team has had two weeks to prepare for Denver and the long road trip ahead.
The Don Prudhomme dragster has been successful in Denver, including a win in 2001, and hopes to gain another victory despite the challenge of the high altitude and thin air.
Dixon believes the challenge rests on the shoulders of crew chief Dick LaHaie and the crew. "My job is still the same, no matter where we go. I think it's more demanding on the team than it is on me. It's not like I'm in a foot race where the altitude would affect me. I just try to go there and do my thing. We won the race a couple years ago, so we have what it takes to win there. We just have to try and get our car qualified well and see how race day goes."
When asked if he felt strong headed into Denver, Dixon defiantly responded, "I feel good anytime I get into the racecar, where ever we're racing. I have a lot of confidence in the crew and LaHaie. Anytime anywhere, I feel good."
Dixon took a spectator seat instead of the driver seat when catching up with Miller Lite teammate Rusty Wallace in Joliet Chicago Sunday, for the Tropicana 400 Winston Cup. After talking with several drivers, team owners, crewmembers, and Miller employees, Dixon took a seat for the race. "My father-in-law hadn't been to a NASCAR race in nearly 20 years, so it was cool to watch it with him," said Dixon.
When comparing the two Miller Lite teams, Dixon and Rusty have more in common than just beer. "Everybody is trying to do the same thing; just a different way of going about it. Everybody is trying to make their cars go quick and trying to win," said Dixon. "It also depends on the people around you; they also very important. It's not a one-man show, whether it's NASCAR or an NHRA race, you have to surround yourself with incredibly talented people in order to do well."
Although Rusty didn't record a top finish, his Penske Racing teammate, Ryan Newman did. The No. 12 ALLTEL car started the 267-lap race from the 14th starting spot and on the final caution on lap 233, Newman took the lead and never let go, earning himself the checkered flag and his third win of the season.
Dixon looks to get his sixth win of the season in Denver and possibly more down the road in Seattle (July 25-27th) followed by Sonoma (Aug.1-3rd). When asked how he prepares for the long trip ahead, Dixon replied, "pack more underwear."
ESPN will air qualifying starting on Saturday from 7-9:00PM with final round
coverage of the 24th Annual Mile High Nationals airing on Sunday July20th
from 2:30-3:30PM ET.
2003 NHRA Top Fuel Point Standings
1. LARRY DIXON 1109 - - -
2. Doug Kalitta 902 207 out
3. Darrell Russell 720 389 out
4. Cory McClenathan 657 452 out
5. Brandon Bernstein 629 480 out
6. Tony Schumacher 593 516 out
7. John Smith 590 519 out
8. Doug Herbert 586 523 out
9. David Baca 540 569 out
10. Rhonda Hartman-Smith 482 627 out