Pomona II: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon is second in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he trails first place by one point entering the final race in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs. Dixon finished second in the countdown last year and is making his third ...

* Larry Dixon is second in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he trails first place by one point entering the final race in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs. Dixon finished second in the countdown last year and is making his third countdown appearance in as many years.

* Dixon is a four-time winner in Pomona having visited victory circle there in 2008, '03, '02 and 1998. Dixon is the defending champion of the Auto Club NHRA Nationals. Last year, he was the No. 2 qualifier; he defeated Clay Millican, Doug Herbert, Cory McClenathan and Rod Fuller on his way to victory circle. Earlier this year at Pomona, Dixon did not qualify for the opening race of the season; his first race in the Al-Anabi dragster.

* Dixon has won five races this season: Gainesville, Fla., Topeka, Kan., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio and Reading, Pa. Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier in Las Vegas two weeks ago; he defeated Morgan Lucas, Doug Kalitta and Cory McClenathan before losing to Spencer Massey in the final round of eliminations.

* Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier nine times this season including each of the last five races; he has never won more poles in a season in his career. Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier more than any other driver in Top Fuel or Funny Car this year. He was the No. 1 qualifier seven times in 2002. Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier 40 times in his career.

* Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is currently third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 48 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 61 wins. Dixon is tied with Jeg Coughlin for ninth place on the NHRA's all-time career victories list; they trail eighth-place Don Prudhomme by one win. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Pomona:

"This race is an opportunity to win a championship. For all practical purposes, Tony (points leader Tony Schumacher) and I are tied, and Cory's (third place Cory McClenathan) right there, too. So it's really winner take all; whoever does better at this race is gonna win it. I feel great because I have Alan Johnson and Jason McCulloch on my side, and with their record at Pomona, I'm excited about the weekend.

"I don't really feel pressure; it's more of an opportunity because I don't have anything to lose. We'll go into Pomona, do our best and hope it's enough. I think anybody in my position would love to have to wrapped it up early, but that's not the case. Looking back at my two championships, it didn't take the full season for our team back then, but there's 24 events on the slate this time. For us to have an opportunity to win it, it'll take the 24th race so that's how it lays out; we'll do our best to finish the job this weekend.

"I don't know what Alan's and Jason's game plans are, but right now, I'm not thinking any further than Thursday's qualifying round. I want to do the best we can possibly do there, and then move my focus to Friday. After Friday, I'll think about Saturday and then Sunday; we have eight possible runs this weekend in Pomona, and if we compete in all eight of them, we should be in pretty good shape so we'll just have to see how it all plays out.

"I'm thrilled to be in this position; I came to this team to win races and have a chance to win another championship; this is what we do -- we want to win this championship for our Al-Anabi race team, His Highness Sheik Khalid al Thani and for the people of Qatar...it's an exciting time, and I can't wait to get started on Thursday."

-credit: ajaar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Clay Millican , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Morgan Lucas , Rod Fuller , Spencer Massey