Memphis: Dixon preview

MEMPHIS, TN (Oct. 3) - Sitting 10 rounds out of first with only four races to go on the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing series, third place Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team will approach this weekend's 13th Annual...

MEMPHIS, TN (Oct. 3) - Sitting 10 rounds out of first with only four races to go on the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing series, third place Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team will approach this weekend's 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals (Oct. 5-8) at Memphis Motorsports Park as if the season has just begun.

Although not mathematically impossible for Dixon (1,348), winning this year's Top Fuel crown would require points leader Gary Scelzi (1,548) to stumble while the Miller Lite car would need to at least reach several of the few remaining final rounds.

"There are four races left and we are two races out of first so it is going to be pretty tough to make up that much ground," evaluates Dixon. "When we began the season we set two main goals for ourselves-win as many races as we possibly can, and win the Winston Championship. If it turns out that we can't win the championship this year, then we want to try and earn every point possible and win as many races as we can left on the schedule."

If anything is working in Dixon's advantage, it might be the law of averages. The Indianapolis-based driver is due to have his luck change at M.M.P. this year after bowing out in the first round at three of the last four events in Memphis. While Dixon has had success qualifying here with three of his five efforts coming within the top three cars, his best result came in 1997 when he posted a runner-up finish to Jim Head in the 11th final round appearance of his career.

"You know, there may be some people out there who have written this team off, but I don't plan on going down without a fight," said Dixon. "We still want to go out, try and win as many rounds as possible and make this points race interesting."

<pre> Dixon's Career Results in Memphis

Year    Event                   Qual.       Finish & Winning Driver
1995    Mid-South Nationals     No. 3       Semifinls- C. McClenathan
1996    Pennzoil Nationals      No. 16      1st round- B. Johnson
1997    Pennzoil Nationals      No. 3       Runner-up-J. Head
1998    Pennzoil Nationals      No. 2       1st round-S. Anderson
1999    AutoZone Nationals      No. 10      1st round-K. Bernstein

2000 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings 1. Gary Scelzi 1,548 - - - 2. Tony Schumacher 1,499 49 out 3. LARRY DIXON 1,348 200 out 4. Joe Amato 1,224 324 out 5. Doug Kalitta 1,193 355 out 6. Kenny Bernstein 1,155 393 out Cory McClenathan 954 594 out Bob Vandergriff Jr. 830 718 out Doug Herbert 797 751 out 10. Dave Grubnic 699 849 out

Larry Dixon to Meet with Memphis Area Drag Race Fans NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be in the Memphis 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 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals:

Date & Time Location

Wed., 10/4 8-9:45 p.m. Banana Joe's, 5630 SW 29th St., (901) 433-0112

Thur., 10/5 7-8:45 p.m. Hooters, 2753 Mt. Moriah Rd., (901) 795-7123

Fri, 10/6 3 & 7 p.m. Qualifying sessions #1 & #2

Sat, 10/7 Noon & 4 Qualifying sessions #3 & #4

Sun, 10/8 11:00 a.m. Eliminations begin

TV Times

Sun, 10/8    5-6:30 pm/ET           Speedvision-First round
                
            9-10:30 pm          Speedvision-semis & finals

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Jim Head , Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Bob Vandergriff