Sonoma: Larry Dixon preview

* Larry Dixon enters the Fram-Autolite Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 172 points; Dixon has qualified for the 2010 Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs. Last weekend...

* Larry Dixon enters the Fram-Autolite Nationals in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 172 points; Dixon has qualified for the 2010 Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs. Last weekend in Seattle, Dixon was the No. 2 qualifier; he defeated Terry Haddock before losing to Shawn Langdon in the second round of eliminations.

* Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in 10 of the 14 events so far this season. He has seven wins in the season's first 14 races: Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta Dragway, Joliet, Ill., Englishtown, N.J. and Norwalk, Ohio.

* Dixon has been an excellent qualifier this season having qualified in the top three at 13 of the 14 races. Dixon's average qualifying position so far this year is 2.57. He has been the No. 1 qualifier four times this season and 44 times in his career.

* Dixon has raced Tony Schumacher in eliminations eight times this season; Dixon leads the season series 5-3. In each of their eight meetings this season, the winning driver has gone on to win the event.

* Dixon is tied with Joe Amato for second place on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel final-round appearances list. Tony Schumacher leads with 100 final rounds; Amato and Dixon have 99.

* One year ago at Infineon Raceway, Dixon was the No. 2 qualifier but lost to Mike Strasburg in the first round of eliminations. Dixon won at Infineon Raceway in 2003.

* 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 55 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 61 wins. Dixon is fifth on the NHRA's career round wins list with 572 round wins; fourth-place Bob Glidden has 597. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Infineon Raceway:

"The consolation prize for the weekend in Seattle is that the Al-Anabi team held its ground in points; we lost in the second round, but we only lost a few points off our lead. We have three races and 12 rounds of racing left in the regular season; we have almost a nine-round lead. Over the next three races, at a minimum, we want to defend our position and go into the Countdown as the No. 1 seed.

"In the last few weeks, you're in the middle of four in a row, and your busy racing trying to win rounds and races. Then you have a week off, you stick your head up and see where you are. The Al-Anabi team did well points wise through that four-week stretch by winning 13 of a possible 16 rounds. So after that stretch you look at where you stand, reset and get back out there to get some more points.

"Our chance to sweep the Western Swing is gone, but you still want to try and do well at the next race. If we can win at Sonoma, that means there's no sweep. Everyone except Cory (McClenathan) is trying to work on their own setups to try and keep him from sweeping. It's nothing personal, we just want our own teams to rebound and do well for ourselves.

"It's always nice to come back to the west coast. Sonoma is about as close as we get to Alan's (Johnson) place (Santa Maria, Calif.) until the end of the year. He'll have friends, family and employees at the track so you want to make for a happy time for everybody by doing well."

-source: al-anabi racing team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Bob Glidden , Mike Strasburg , Terry Haddock , Shawn Langdon