Norwalk: Larry Dixon preview

Larry Dixon enters the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Tony Schumacher by 123 points. Last weekend in Bristol, Tenn., Dixon was the No. 3 qualifier but...

Larry Dixon enters the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Tony Schumacher by 123 points. Last weekend in Bristol, Tenn., Dixon was the No. 3 qualifier but lost to Morgan Lucas in the first round of eliminations.

Dixon is the defending Top Fuel champion at Norwalk; last year, he was the No. 1 qualifier and defeated Steve Chrisman, Clay McMillan, Antron Brown and Brandon Bernstein on his way to victory circle. He is one of just three drivers to win a Top Fuel race at the suburban Ohio track.

Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in nine of the 12 events so far this season. He has six wins in the season's first 12 races: Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta Dragway, Joliet, Ill. and Englishtown, N.J.

Dixon has been an excellent qualifier this season having qualified in the top three at 11 of the 12 races. Dixon's average qualifying position so far this year is 2.75. He has been the No. 1 qualifier three times this season and 43 times in his career.

Dixon has raced Tony Schumacher in eliminations seven times this season; Dixon leads the season series 4-3. In each of their seven meetings this season, the winning driver has gone on to win the event.

Dixon is third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel final-round appearances list. Tony Schumacher leads with 100 final rounds; Joe Amato is second with 99, and Dixon is third with 98.

Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is second on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 54 victories; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 65 wins. Dixon is seventh on the NHRA's all-time career victories list for all professional categories; Greg Anderson is in sixth place with 60 wins. Dixon is fifth on the NHRA's career round wins list with 568 round wins; fourth-place Bob Glidden has 597. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Norwalk:

"We probably used our mulligan in Bristol. The Al-Anabi dragster is still a great car, and we have a great team; we just didn't have a good outing. The great thing about this team is the talent we have that allows us to diagnose a problem, assess it and then fix it. It's exciting to see the great minds go to work. As we write this, Alan (Johnson) and Jason (McCulloch) are working on things to make sure we have a better outing this weekend. So from my standpoint, everything is in good hands, and we'll get to Norwalk in better shape than we were in when we left Bristol.

"As the season goes on there are peaks and valleys within it. Bristol was one of our valleys, and when it's all said and done, you hope you have more peaks than valleys. So far, we have six wins and two first-round losses. I think we'll all take two more first-round losses if they come with six more wins.

"The big thing is the round wins. That's what will keep us up in the points. I look at how many rounds are left in the regular season and how many rounds we have on other teams. Looking at the big points picture, the further we go on in the regular season, we are clinching spots higher up in the countdown so that's all good, very good. We have to keep working hard to maintain our performance, and I am confident everyone on our Al-Anabi team is doing that."

-source: al-anabi race team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Bob Glidden , Brandon Bernstein , Morgan Lucas , Steve Chrisman