JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 27, 2004) - Route 66 Raceway, just south of Chicago, is widely respected in the drag racing community as the one quarter-mile track that affords racers the opportunity to set an NHRA performance mark. Two-time defending NHRA...
JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 27, 2004) - Route 66 Raceway, just south of Chicago, is widely respected in the drag racing community as the one quarter-mile track that affords racers the opportunity to set an NHRA performance mark. Two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, driver of Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite dragster, has been behind the wheel of one of the quickest and fastest dragsters for nearly a decade. So, does the 35-time NHRA winner see more records on the horizon this weekend in Chicago?
"I'd say no at this point," Dixon said. "The cars aren't making as much power and they don't have as much down force as they did when we were there in May. I don't see any reason that people can't run a 4.40 (elapsed time), but not a low 4.40, which is what you would need to set the record."
Dixon, who drove to the first 4.4-second pass (4.486-seconds) in NHRA history six years ago, aims to return his Miller-backed rail to the 4.40-zone and collect his third victory of the 2004 season when the NHRA makes its final visit of the 2004 season to the Prairie State, Sept. 30-Oct. 3, for the fourth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals.
Dixon's Dick LaHaie-tuned dragster has been one of the most consistent performing Top Fuelers on the NHRA tour the past month since the barrage of rule changes for drag racing's premier category have subsided. Of his last 22 passes down the drag strip, 21 of those runs have been in the 4-second range.
"I think since Memphis, we've had a pretty good running race car," Dixon said. "That's when the rule changes stopped. At each race throughout the course of the summer, there was a major rule change and it takes awhile to adjust to all the changes to the race car."
Having adequately adapted to the rules revisions like the championship crew they are, Dixon and the Miller Lite boys are focused on the immediate task and that's winning each event one round at a time.
"In the past, you would want a good running car because that might give you momentum for the following season," Dixon said. "The rules are so up in the air, that what we've got this week, might not be in the rules package next race. So, we'll go one race at a time and try to do well at that given event and then go on to the next race."