DIXON AND WALLACE, A CHAMPIONSHIP DUO IN 2005? JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 26, 2005) -- For Larry Dixon, an off weekend is a welcome relief from the fast-paced lifestyle he lives during an NHRA race season, and not just because he isn't driving his...
DIXON AND WALLACE, A CHAMPIONSHIP DUO IN 2005?
JOLIET, Ill. (Sept. 26, 2005) -- For Larry Dixon, an off weekend is a welcome relief from the fast-paced lifestyle he lives during an NHRA race season, and not just because he isn't driving his Miller Lite dragster to 330-mph speeds. When the 38-year-old father of two has a weekend at home, he like millions of other Americans, is attending soccer games, running errands, tending to his "honey-do" list and watching sports on TV. Like this past weekend when he watched Mille! r Lite racing teammate Rusty Wallace speed to a third place finish at the Nextel Cup event in Dover, Del.
"With us having the weekend off, I was charting his course," Dixon said. "He does well on the short tracks and that being one of the last short tracks on the schedule, I was certainly keeping an eye on how he was doing."
Entering the fifth annual Ameriquest Mortgage Co. Nationals, Sept. 29-Oct. 2, at Route 66 Raceway, arguably the nation's quickest drag strip, Dixon sits second in the Top Fuel standings with just four events remaining on the 2005 NHRA schedule. Wallace heads into this weekend's NASCAR event at Talladega (Ala.) Superspeedway just seven points from the top spot in NASCAR's premier series. The thought of Dixon's Miller Lite/Ameriquest dragster and Wallace's Miller Lite Dodge claiming series titles in the same season certainly excites the 38-time NHRA winner.
"The first year I was driving (1995) he (Rusty Wallace) might have finished second and we finished third," Dixon said. "We've both been up there in the standings at the same time, but this deep into the season obviously we both can still win it, and this being his last year as a driver, it would be nice to see him go out on top. And, I'm ok with us winning the NHRA title too."
"It's really great to see the two Miller Lite cars doing so well," Dixon's team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme added. "We're carrying Rusty's Last Call logo on our dragster and the better he does, the more it pumps us up to go out and try and win the championship on the NHRA side."
While Wallace's Miller Lite Dodge Charger has yet to reach the winner's circle this season, consistency has put the veteran Cup driver in position to earn his second career championship. Dixon, who eyes a third title in four seasons, has driven his Miller Lite rail to three victories in seven final round appearances on the way to his second place ranking. After racing to the final round at three of the last four races with a victory at the prestigious U.S. Nationals on Labor Day, Dixon knows the importance of going rounds if he is to see the goal of another championship become a reality.
"I'm just trying to pay attention to the things that we have control over, and that's our race car and our race team," Dixon said. "We have to make good runs in both qualifying and on race day and have a little bit of luck on top of it all. We'll just see how it goes.
"Milwaukee is probably thinking about it more than me. That's both of our team's goals going into each season, to win a championship. If we're both able to run well and the competition cooperates, we should be able to do it. However, if it was that easy, everybody would win a championship every year. It's not an easy thing to accomplish."
Dixon has scored one of his 38 career victories at the Joliet drag strip, whereas the popular stock car racer has yet to break through on the high banks of the storied Alabama track. A win on October 2 might not be a requirement if the Miller Lite boys are to take a step closer towards achieving their title dreams, but at this point in the season, it certainly couldn't hurt.