NHRA POWERade champ Larry Dixon looks for first win in Topeka.
TOPEKA, KS. (May 20)- During the biggest weekend of motor sports racing all year, NHRA POWERade 2002 defending champion Larry Dixon and the Miller Lite dragster will be at Heartland Park Topeka, KS for the Memorial Day Weekend and the 15th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals, presented by Castrol GTX (May 23-25th).
At a track where no Top Fuel driver has ever won two years in a row, Dixon and the Don Prudhomme dragster are yet to gain a first time win at Topeka. "I haven't won at that race track, but Dick LaHaie has had a tremendous amount of success at that race track so I always feel very confident when going there that we'll run well," said Dixon.
Since his first race at Heartland Park Topeka eight years ago, Dixon has made it to the Sunday finals in each of his eleven appearances. Last year in Topeka, Dixon qualified No.1 and ran the only 4.5-second lap among the 19-car Top Fuel field (4.588), before falling short to Darrell Russell in the finals.
During the past weekend in Englishtown NJ, the Miller Lite Dragster was left with only two qualifying sessions after Friday sessions were rained out. None-the-less, Dixon and the crew qualified No.7 and scored a ticket to the final round.
Not only did weather conditions conflict with qualifying sessions last weekend, but had the same impact last year; allowing only two passes Saturday after a rained out Friday.
"It really depends on the weather. You think you have cool, cool weather that you can set national records, but it can also be very hot and humid too. Difficult conditions to adapt to," said Dixon. "We'll have to see what the weather is when we get there, trust the car and go from there."
The Miller Lite Don Prudhomme Dragster holds 28 career victories and has taken 52 trips to the finals (28 wins and 24 losses). Dixon is currently ranked No.4 all time with 28 Top Fuel wins, is No.1 among active Top Fuel Pilots and sits No.14 on the NHRA's all time win list.
"I try to win every race I'm at, it's just whether or not you can or can't," says Dixon. "There's quite a few race tracks I haven't won at, and I'm not losing any sleep over it. You just try and do well each track you're at and go from there. If you get it, great, if not, then we try again next year. It took Dale Earnhardt 25 years to win the Daytona 500, I just hope it doesn't take me that long to win Topeka."