Larry Dixon & Miller Lite Dragster head to Columbus

{TX} COLUMBUS, OH (June 13) - Of all the oldest and most prestigious events on the Winston NHRA tour, Larry Dixon has claimed the top fuel crown at all but one, and the Miller Lite pilot hopes to get that monkey off his back this...

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COLUMBUS, OH (June 13) - Of all the oldest and most prestigious events on the Winston NHRA tour, Larry Dixon has claimed the top fuel crown at all but one, and the Miller Lite pilot hopes to get that monkey off his back this weekend during the Pontiac Excitement Nationals at National Trail Raceway (June 16-18).

"For me, the biggest races on tour are at Pomona, Gainesville, Englishtown, Indianapolis and Columbus," said Dixon. "Out of those five events, Columbus is the only one that I have not won and I would like to add that to my resume. Depending on the weather, Columbus can be the trickiest track we go to. (Crew chief) Dick LaHaie seems to have a knack for getting down the track and has a lot of past success there. Before he came to our team, we never have done well there because we were always racing against him. I am looking forward to what Dick can do for us at this track."

To say that LaHaie has had some success at Columbus would be an understatement. LaHaie won the Ohio race twice as a driver, including his 1987 Winston Championship season, as well as tuning top fuel drivers Scott Kalitta (1994-95) and Doug Herbert ('99) to victory lane.

"Columbus is a very hard track to race at," said LaHaie. "Depending on the weather, if it is hot and humid, it can make the track a mess to get down. If it is overcast, then we can run well there. Before they moved the dates, Columbus race used to be known as the Springnationals and coming into the summer, the heat and humidity can really wear you out. As we go along though, it seems that the seasons are changing with spring lengthening and summer not arriving until mid July. We normally don't have the cold temperatures we did at our last race in Chicago. There have just been all kinds of curves thrown at us this season. I just hope I can continue to dip into the memory bank and remember how to race there."

As far as the top fuel points chase is concerned, Dixon (738) who trails Gary Scelzi (798) by just three rounds, is looking to maintain the consistency that has seen the Miller Lite Dragster in four out of five of the last final rounds. "Where I'm at, Scelzi has won three in a row and is the hottest team on the circuit," said Dixon. "We are only three rounds behind him and we have held our own while he has been streaking along. I hope we can maintain our performance going into the summer."

<pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in Columbus

Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Springnationals No. 7 First round-E. Hill 1996 Pontiac Excitement No. 5 Runner-up-C.McClenathan 1997 Pontiac Excitement No. 9 Second round-J. Amato 1998 Pontiac Excitement No. 7 First round-C.McClenathan 1999 Pontiac Excitement No. 12 Second round-P. Romine

Larry Dixon to Meet with Columbus Area Drag Race Fans NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making appearances this week throughout the Columbus area where he will be meeting and signing autographs for local drag racing fans. Below is a tentative schedule for Dixon leading up to the 36th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals:

Date & Time Location Wed, 6/14 7-9 p.m. BW3's, Route 79 Southgate Shopping Mall, Heath, Ohio (740) 522-2999 **Ron Capps to also appear** Thur, 6/15 3:00 p.m. WCMH Ch. 4-interview Fri, 6/16 4 & 8 p.m. Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 6/17 12:15 & 4 Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 6/18 11:00 a.m. Eliminations begin

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Scott Kalitta , Dick LaHaie