Richmond: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon is second in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he trails first place by 54 points after the second 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 54 points after the second 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 has advanced to at least the semifinals in 11 of the 21 races this season. He has won five of the eight races in which he has advanced to the final round of eliminations; he has advanced to the finals at four of the last six events.

* Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier at last week's event in Memphis; he beat Clay Millican before losing to event winner Morgan Lucas in the second round of eliminations. Dixon won races earlier this season in Gainesville, Fla., Topeka, Kan., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio and Reading, Pa.

* Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier seven times this season. That total ties his career best for No. 1 qualifiers in a season. He was also the No. 1 qualifier seven times in 2002. Dixon has been the No. 1 qualifier 38 times in his career.

* One year ago at Richmond, Dixon was the No. 6 qualifier but lost to J.R. Todd in the first round of eliminations. Dixon won race at Richmond in 2000.

* 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 Virginia Motorsports Park:

"As far as Memphis goes, we're really bummed with the end result. The Al-Anabi dragster lost a cylinder early in the run in the second round and lost the race by one thousandth of a second. It's a hard one to swallow because the car ran so well all weekend. Fortunately for us, Morgan (Lucas) beating Tony (Schumacher) in the final certainly lessened the damage that could have been done. So now we're just less than three rounds out of first place and very much still in this thing.

"Going into Richmond, the Al-Anabi team will have the same mindset and strategy that we've used the entire countdown. We want to be the quickest car in every qualifying session, run four rounds on Sunday and hopefully come home with the trophy. The best way to gain ground in the points is to win races, and that's what we hope to do.

"I've won at Richmond, and so have Alan (Johnson) and Jason (crew chief Jason McCulloch). The weather there last year was awesome, and that's where they (Alan Johnson and Jason McCulloch) set the national ET record. If the weather conditions are conducive, you could absolutely see a national ET record set there. Now that those records count for points, you'd be crazy not to try and go for it if the conditions are there."

-credit: ajaar

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Jeg Coughlin , Larry Dixon , Joe Amato , Don Prudhomme , Morgan Lucas , J.R. Todd