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Larry Dixon enters the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 69 points entering the fourth of six races in the Countdown to 1...

Larry Dixon enters the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 69 points entering the fourth of six races in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs.

Dixon is the defending champion of the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals. Last year, he defeated Chris Karamesines, Tony Schumacher, Shawn Langdon and Spencer Massey on his way to the winner's circle. Last year's win is his only victory at the Reading, Pa. track.

Dixon has won more races this year than any other season in his career. He is the first professional driver in NHRA history to win his first 11 final rounds in a season. His 11-win total is also more than any other driver in the four NHRA Full Throttle classes. Two weeks ago in Dallas, Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier, but Shawn Langdon upset him in the second round of eliminations.

Dixon has won six of the seven races in which he was the No. 1 qualifier making him 25-1 in eliminations when competing as the No. 1 qualifier this season.

Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in 15 of the 20 events this year; he remains undefeated in final rounds with an 11-0 mark in the season's first 20 races. His 11 wins happened at Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta, Joliet, Ill., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio, Sonoma, Calif., Brainerd, Minn., Indianapolis and Charlotte.

Dixon has been an excellent qualifier this season having qualified in the top three at 16 of the 20 races. Dixon's average qualifying position this year is 2.60, but in the three Countdown to 1 races, his average qualifying position is 2.0. He has been the No. 1 qualifier seven times this season and 47 times in his career.

Dixon has raced Tony Schumacher in eliminations 11 times this season; Dixon leads the season series 8-3 and has won each of the last six meetings. In 10 of their 11 meetings this season, the winning driver has gone on to win the event.

Dixon leads NHRA's all-time Top Fuel final-round appearances list with 103 final rounds. Tony Schumacher is second with 102 final-round appearances.

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 59 victories; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 66 wins. Dixon is seventh on the NHRA's all-time career victories list for all professional categories; Greg Anderson is in sixth place with 64 wins. Dixon is fifth on the NHRA's career round wins list with 592 round wins; fourth-place Bob Glidden has 597. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Reading:

"With three races to go and almost a one-race lead, I'd rather be where we are than one race down with three to go so I like the Al-Anabi team's position. You're not racing for points during the regular season, you're racing for position. That said, we had a lot of points taken away with the points reset before the Countdown so you hope that what you've done during the regular season will allow you to carry over the same mindset into the playoffs. What we did to get us to the front in the regular season should still apply during the six-race shootout for the title.

"Unless I missed the meeting, I don't think we're changing our game plan for the rest of the playoffs. We still want to go into every session and every round and be the quickest car of that session. We hope that will be enough to reach the goal we have set for ourselves.

"If you don't win the event, you start counting rounds. We've won two out of the three Countdown races so far so we've left three possible rounds on the table. We've won nine rounds and lost a chance for three more possible rounds. Last year, we won a total of 10 rounds during the playoffs. So three races in, we're doing better, but so is the competition. We just have to keep pressing as hard as we can, and hopefully, the rest will take care of itself."

-source: al-anabi race team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Chris Karamesines , Bob Glidden , Cory McClenathan , Shawn Langdon , Spencer Massey