Indy ORP: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon won the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., last month; it was his fifth victory of the season. He defeated Chris Karamesines, Tony Schumacher, Shawn Langdon and Spencer Massey on his way to victory circle. He also won races...

* Larry Dixon won the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., last month; it was his fifth victory of the season. He defeated Chris Karamesines, Tony Schumacher, Shawn Langdon and Spencer Massey on his way to victory circle. He also won races earlier this season in Gainesville, Fla., Topeka, Kan., Englishtown, N.J. and Norwalk, Ohio.

* Dixon has qualified for the Countdown to 1 Playoffs which begin Sept. 17-20 at the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. A total of 10 drivers will compete for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel championship.

* Dixon is second in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he trails first place by 187 points entering the last race of the regular season. Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in nine of the 17 races this season. He has won five of the six races in which he has advanced to the final round of eliminations; he has advanced to the finals in each of the last two events.

* One year ago in the U.S. Nationals, Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier; he defeated Troy Buff before losing to Antron Brown in the second round of eliminations. Dixon has won the U.S. Nationals three times: 1995, 2001 and '05.

* 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 48 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 59 wins. Dixon is in ninth place on the NHRA's all-time career victories list; he trails eighth-place Don Prudhomme by one win. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Indianapolis:

"Jason (crew chief Jason McCulloch) knows this car and this team, and he preaches that when we come off a test, we seem to do best. We tested before Brainerd, and we have two finals and a win. The car is definitely responding the way he and Alan (team owner Alan Johnson) would like it to respond, and for that reason, we didn't test this past week at Indianapolis.

"It's always exciting to race at Indy. It's obviously the biggest and most prestigious race on our tour and you want to be peaking right now. We have a really good car going into this race. I'm honored that I've won the U.S. Nationals. As a kid growing up in the sport, going to that race with my dad for so many years with my family top fuel car, we never did the full tour, but we always went to Indy. That's where everyone congregated on Labor Day weekend.

"If you showed well there, you knew where you stood with the other racers. Guys that ran well in the 60s and 70s like Garlits and others, guys who have been around the sport for a long period of time, you can see it in their eyes and the grit in their teeth that they want to do well there. You can definitely see it with Alan and the rest of our team as well, and as a driver, you like to know that an event is that important to the team."

-credit: ajaar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Chris Karamesines , Don Prudhomme , Troy Buff , Shawn Langdon , Spencer Massey