St. Louis: Larry Dixon preview

Larry Dixon is sixth in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings, and he is 11 points behind fifth place and 119 points out of first place. Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in three of the six races this season; he won the AC...

Larry Dixon is sixth in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings, and he is 11 points behind fifth place and 119 points out of first place. Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in three of the six races this season; he won the AC Delco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla. Dixon was the No. 7 qualifier at Atlanta Dragway but lost to Cory McClenathan in the first round of eliminations.

One year ago at Gateway International Raceway, Dixon was the No. 6 qualifier; he defeated Bob Vandergriff before losing to Hillary Will in the second round of eliminations. Dixon has never won a race at Gateway International Raceway, but team owner Alan Johnson has four wins at Gateway as a crew chief. He won races at Gateway in 1998, '99 and 2000 with Gary Scelzi and in 2006 with Tony Schumacher.

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 43 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 58 wins. Dixon is 10th on the NHRA's all-time professional victories list. He trails ninth-place Dave Schultz by two wins. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Gateway International Raceway:

"St. Louis is one of the few races on the tour where I haven't won yet. I've had some great race cars there, but I haven't been able to close the deal there yet so I'll keep going back there until I do.

"It's no secret our team isn't getting the performance we all want, but I think we may have started down a path that could give us some information. Our current car is a Brad Hadman chassis. For almost my entire career before this year, I've driven a Murph McKinney chassis. We are doing some research to determine if the different chassis react differently with regard to steering input. If that ends up being the case, I may not have been communicating effectively with Jason. (crew chief Jason McCulloch)

"One of the coolest parts of this whole process is that Del (Funny Car driver Del Worsham) called me to talk about all of this, and he made some suggestions as to how we could work through this process. It's really cool to have a teammate like that; it's one thing to be on the same team, but it's something completely different to reach out and take an active role in what's happening. I really appreciate his input, and I love having a teammate like that.

"In the time between Atlanta and St. Louis, we have been working on the things we've learned, and hopefully, they will bring us improved performance. We have a bit more direction in figuring out what's happening to the car, but the best news in all of this is that we are learning to communicate better within our team. We all hope better communication and some new research will help us in the long run, and starting that process at St. Louis would be huge."

-credit: ajaar

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Cory McClenathan , Bob Vandergriff