Season Finale Will Be Bitter Sweet For So Cal's Dixon INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 6, 2006) -- The quarter-mile drag strip at Pomona Raceway isn't surrounded by all the bells and whistles that some of the new tracks have these days. But don't tell Larry...
Season Finale Will Be Bitter Sweet For So Cal's Dixon
INDIANAPOLIS (Nov. 6, 2006) -- The quarter-mile drag strip at Pomona Raceway isn't surrounded by all the bells and whistles that some of the new tracks have these days. But don't tell Larry Dixon Pomona Raceway is anything but spectacular.
It is, after all, his home.
Not only is the Don Prudhomme-owned program headquartered out of the San Diego suburb of Vista, Calif., but Dixon grew up in the Southern California city of Van Nuys, less than a 30-minute drive to the race track. Before moving to Indianapolis five years ago, Dixon spent his life in the drag racing hot bed of California.
"Going to race at Pomona is like going home," Dixon said. "I grew up so close to Pomona Raceway and I always get to see the friends and family who still live there. Pomona Raceway is the West Coast. I lived there for 35 years so I'm partial to this track."
It might also help that the two-time NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion has earned three wins in five final rounds at Pomona Raceway.
He said qualifying will determine if the team can add to the win column.
"I would really like to see us qualify well," Dixon said. "I think that if we can qualify in the top five or six, we will have the potential to win. I would like to win and finish the year well and then gear up for next season. If we can get after it and qualify well, it can happen."
The 42nd annual Automobile Club of Southern California Finals starts Thursday. Professional qualifying will be spread out over three days. There is one session on Thursday at 2:30 p.m., continuing at 2:30 p.m. on Friday and wrapping up at noon and 3:30 p.m. on Saturday. Final eliminations for the 23rd of 23 NHRA POWERade events will start at 11 a.m. on Sunday.
Dixon and the team tested on Monday in hopes of being able to qualify better than the 14th place effort they earned last weekend in Las Vegas.
"Testing went well up until the last run of the day," Dixon said. "Then the engine blew up exactly the way it did in Las Vegas during the second round of the bonus event. It's difficult to make a good run when everything is on fire. Hopefully the guys will figure it out before the race starts."
This will not only be the last race of the season for all NHRA competitors, but it will be the final race that Dixon will be driving Miller Lite colors. This was the final season of the team's long-term contract that had Dixon in Miller colors since his rookie season of 1995.
"I'm looking forward to the last race of the year but this is also the last go with Miller," Dixon said. "I had a great run with them and I owe them everything for giving me the opportunity. It's a real bummer that it's coming to an end.
"On the other side of things, we're going to have something new next year, and that's exciting. I don't know what I'm driving, whether it's Top Fuel or Funny Car or what, but I know that next year will bring a breath of fresh air to the entire program. I will certainly have some new people working on the car and from that standpoint, it will be nice to start out with a clean sheet of paper. I want nothing more than to be able to get back out there and get back into the points race where this team belongs."