Indy ORP: Toyota Motorsports preview

STARTING FROM SCRATCH -- After a 17-race regular season, the slate has been wiped clean for the opening round of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs beginning at this weekend's U.S. Nationals. Five Toyota-sponsored drivers still have a...

STARTING FROM SCRATCH -- After a 17-race regular season, the slate has been wiped clean for the opening round of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs beginning at this weekend's U.S. Nationals. Five Toyota-sponsored drivers still have a shot at 2010 championships, including all four Top Fuel drivers. Larry Dixon has secured the top seed, Antron Brown is fifth, Shawn Langdon seventh and Morgan Lucas captured the eighth position. Del Worsham will begin the playoffs from the ninth spot in his Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car.

DIXON LOOKS TO CONTINUE AN AMAZING SEASON -- Larry Dixon dominated NHRA Top Fuel competition during the regular season, amassing a whopping 281-point championship lead. Over the season's first 17 races, Dixon registered nine victories and advanced to the semi-finals or better in 13 of the 17 events and in 11 of the final 13. For the season, Dixon sports a 46-8 overall record -- far and away the best mark in NHRA this season. He also has five number one qualifying positions. As the playoffs begin, Dixon will be attempting to capture his third Top Fuel title after winning the championship in both 2002 and 2003.

INDY WINNERS - Larry Dixon and Cruz Pedregon both head into this weekend's U.S. Nationals as three-time winners at the NHRA's "Super Bowl," while Del Worsham has one Indy win to his credit. Dixon won the Top Fuel events in 2005, 2001 and 1995. On the Funny Car side, Pedregon's victories in a four-year span, winning in 1992, 1994 and 1995, while Worsham was victorious in 2005.

LAST YEAR'S U.S. NATIONALS -- Larry Dixon advanced to the finals of last year's U.S. Nationals before falling to Tony Schumacher. Antron Brown was the number one qualifier for the event, but was upset in his opening run. Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon each advanced to the second round before being defeated -- with Lucas' loss coming at the hands of Dixon. In Funny Cars, Cruz Pedregon won his first round, before falling to John Force, while Del Worsham was eliminated in the opening round.

-source: toyota motorsports

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Cruz Pedregon , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon