Dixon vies for 3rd win in 4 trips to HRP

BAYTOWN, TX (Mar. 20) - Larry Dixon likes racing at Houston Raceway Park so much, he's having his own garage built there. Top Fuel Champion after two of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series' last three trips to H.R.P., Dixon and the Don ...

BAYTOWN, TX (Mar. 20) - Larry Dixon likes racing at Houston Raceway Park so much, he's having his own garage built there.

Top Fuel Champion after two of the NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series' last three trips to H.R.P., Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster hope to celebrate a third trip to the winner's circle for the third year in a row, and host the victory party in the Miller Lite Racing Garage which is making its NHRA debut. (see attached) Dixon, crew chief Dick LaHaie and the entire Top Fuel team are on the verge of claiming their first win of the season. After the first three races this season, Dixon has qualified no lower than third, and has two No. 2s. LaHaie has the Miller Lite Dragster consistently running in the 4.5 second range during qualifying (5 out of 12, 42%), and is just a few turns of the knobs away from having that same production carry over to race day. After a rainout in Gainesville, FL last weekend, Dixon would love nothing more than to see the 11th win of his career come in Baytown. "We definitely have a lot going on this weekend and I hope that some of the success we have had here in the past can carry over," said Dixon. "We are not going back to Houston this weekend with the same car and set up that we had last year, but Dick LaHaie knows this track and the weather conditions there and that has been well proven by the fact that he has tuned his drivers to the win three of the last four races at H.R.P." (LaHaie tuned Doug Herbert to the win in Spring, 1999). Before Dixon began dominating H.R.P. he advanced past the second round just once (1997) with a runner up finish to Gary Scelzi. Dixon believes LaHaie is the main reason for the team's improvement. "We weren't spooked about coming here, in fact I have good memories. Snake won in '94 and we were the first Funny Car to run in the teens (5.1 seconds) in 1989. Until LaHaie joined us, we never really had a handle on this place, but he certainly does and he has brought that to the team. It's kind of like Rusty Wallace at Bristol. He makes us more confident. I don't know if we have any kind of advantage here, but it certainly seems that way." "We need to use our newfound power to help us find a better middle of the road set up if we want to go rounds. We need to know when to step it up a little and when to back it down just right to complement the track. But I am real excited about this weekend because we have a good running car. It was disappointing last weekend to be only four rounds away from finishing the race."

<pre> Dixon's Career Results in Houston

Year Event Qual.  Finish & Winning Driver
1995    Slick 50 Ntls.         No. 6           First round-M. Dunn
1996    Slick 50 Ntls.         No. 4           2nd round- J. Amato
1997    Slick 50 Ntls.         No. 15          First round-C. McClenathan
1997    Matco SuperNtls.       No. 7           Runner up-G. Scelzi
1998    Pennzoil Ntls.         No. 14          First round-C. McClenathan
1998    Mac Tools Ntls.        No. 5           2nd round - B. Vandergriff
1999    O'Reilly Ntls.         No. 1           2nd round-T. Schumacher
1999    Matco SuperNtls.       No. 3           WINNER- over G. Scelzi
2000    O'Reilly Ntls.         No. 4           WINNER- over Schumacher
2000    Matco SuperNtls.       No. 8           First round- D. Herbert

2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings

1.  Darrell Russell      205       n/a  
2.  Doug Kalitta         170       35 out
3.  Mike Dunn            155       50 out
4.  LARRY DIXON          133       72 out
5.  Gary Scelzi          108       97 out
6.  Tony Schumacher      107       98 out
7.  Kenny Bernstein      106       99 out
8.  Bobby Baldwin        102      103 out
9.  Doug Herbert          91      114 out
10. David Grubnic         87      118 out

</pre> Larry Dixon to Meet Houston Fans

NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making many appearances this week in the Houston area where he will meet local drag racing fans. Below is a tentative schedule for Dixon for this year's 14th Annual O'Reilly Nationals:

<pre> Date-Time Location Wed, 3/21 6-9p Miller Lite Garage, H.R.P. Thur, 3/22 11a-1p Miller Lite Garage, H.R.P. 730-9p Hooters, I-45 and NASA Fri, 3/23 315-6p Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 3/24 1215-3p Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 3/25 11:00a Eliminations begin

-Skip Allum

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Series NHRA
Drivers Rusty Wallace , Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie