TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 27) - With only five races, equating to 20 rounds of competition and 400 available points remaining in the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, No. 8 ranked Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster find ...
TOPEKA, KS (Sept. 27) - With only five races, equating to 20 rounds of competition and 400 available points remaining in the 1999 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, No. 8 ranked Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster find themselves in a near must-win situation in order to challenge for the lead in the current top fuel points chase. This year's top fuel race, heralded by many as the tightest in NHRA history, sees Dixon only 144 points out of the lead, the closest he has ever been to a Winston title in his five year career. While that fact might typically increase a driver's odds of winning the crown, 1999 has not been a typical year. Despite Dixon's consistency throughout the season, including one win in three final round appearances and three pole positions, the 1995 Rookie of the Year sees seven drivers between him and the top of the standings.
One reason why Dixon and his crew believe that they are far from out of contention for the top fuel title will be the early presence of Dick LaHaie in the Miller Lite pit this weekend. It was announced earlier this year that LaHaie would be taking over for current wrench Dale Armstrong beginning with the 2000 season. The schedule has been moved up a little as LaHaie begins the transition process earlier than expected and will primarily call the shots for Dixon's ride. Armstrong will split time between Prudhomme's dragster and funny car.
"With testing on Monday after Reading, I'm really excited about LaHaie getting involved with the team,” said Dixon. “He made some changes and our half-track numbers were extremely respectable. He has had great success at Topeka as a driver and a tuner so I'm really excited to have him as part of our team this weekend. To have both Dale Armstrong and Dick LaHaie in our corner for the next race, as well as the rest of the season will be awesome. Dale can make the car quicker than any other car out there, while Dick has had the ability to get all of the cars he works on consistently down the track. I think the two of them working together gives us a really good package to finish off the rest of the season. I think the opportunity to win the championship is just as tough now as it was five months ago, but with the tools we now have in place with Dale & Dick, we have a good a shot or better than anyone. Like Snake says, if the car is running strong enough to win races, then we can win the championship. If we stick to that plan we should be okay.”
NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making several appearances this week throughout the Topeka area where he will be meeting and signing autographs for local drag racing fans, display his show car and take on fans in the Miller Lite Drag Racing Simulators. Below is a tentative schedule for Dixon this week leading up to the Advance Autoparts Nationals:
Date & Time Location Wed, 9/29 7-9 pm Remington's, 1155 SW Wannamaker Road, Topeka, (785) 271-8700
Thur, 9/30 6-7 am Good Morning Topeka, Ch. 49 ABC 7-9 pm The Dugout, 1545 SE W Fairlawn Rd, Topeka, (785) 273-8430 Fri, 10/1 3&7 pm Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 10/2 12&4 pm Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 10/3 11 am Final Eliminations begin Sun, 9/20- 11 am Eliminations begin