Joliet: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon won the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. on Sunday taking his second victory of the season. He was the No. 2 qualifier; he defeated Joe Hartley, Cory McClenathan, Spencer Massey and Clay Millican on his way to...

* Larry Dixon won the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. on Sunday taking his second victory of the season. He was the No. 2 qualifier; he defeated Joe Hartley, Cory McClenathan, Spencer Massey and Clay Millican on his way to victory. With the win, Dixon moved into a ninth-place tie with Dave Schultz on the NHRA's all-time professionals win list. Dixon also won the AC Delco Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.

* With the win, Dixon moves up two spots in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he is now in fourth place just 141 points behind first place.

* When Dixon defeated Pat Dakin in the first round of eliminations at Bristol, Tenn. on May 17, he became just the seventh driver in NHRA history to reach the 500-round-win plateau. The other six are: John Force, 1,021; Warren Johnson, 854; Kenny Bernstein, 681; Bob Glidden, 597; Joe Amato, 527; and Kurt Johnson, 509.

* One year ago at Route 66 Raceway, Dixon was the No. 3 qualifier; he defeated Troy Buff before losing to Morgan Lucas in the second round of eliminations. He won at Route 66 Raceway in 2002 and '07; team owner Alan Johnson has one win at Joliet as a crew chief.

* 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 45 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 59 wins. Dixon is now tied with Dave Schultz for ninth place on the NHRA's all-time professional victories list. He was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Route 66 Raceway:

"It was nice to be able to go out there at Toepka and have a great event. The car ran well all weekend, and everything about it was good. The other plus was that everyone ahead of us in points went out early so we were able to make up a lot of ground. We only moved up two spots, but we gained a lot of ground on some teams so that was a nice bonus.

"Everything that happened from the time we got back to the pit area after the second-round loss at Bristol to the time we went to Topeka was good. We talked a lot in Bristol, and then tested for two days in Atlanta. We tried a lot of different things, and I was just making runs in the car. Everything about it was good...the mental and physical parts were great. Just being able to spend time with everyone and make the runs was important. We have all of the pieces we need, but we are now becoming more of a team, and I think we saw some of the results with our win at Topeka.

"Route 66 Raceway is a really nice facility; whether the weather is warm or cool, the track is really good. It's conducive to good racing, and I think with a lot of people on our team having had some success there at one time or another; that breeds good memories. Everyone has good feelings going into the event, including our Funny Car guys. They won at St. Louis and Bristol; we won at Topeka so we'll all kind of be going off that last win which makes us excited to get to Joliet."

-credit: ajaar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Kurt Johnson , Warren Johnson , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Cory McClenathan , Morgan Lucas , Joe Hartley , Troy Buff , Pat Dakin , Spencer Massey