Topeka: Larry Dixon preview

DIXON EAGER TO GET BACK ON THE WINNING TRACK AT HEARTLAND PARK TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2005) -- Having spent more than 10 seasons behind the wheel of Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, Larry Dixon has experienced that ultimate ...

DIXON EAGER TO GET BACK ON THE WINNING TRACK AT HEARTLAND PARK

TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2005) -- Having spent more than 10 seasons behind the wheel of Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, Larry Dixon has experienced that ultimate high--winning consecutive series titles (2002-03) and 36 races, the third most in NHRA Top Fuel history. However, the veteran driver also knows that there will be more than a few speed bumps along the road towards achieving his goal of a third NHRA Top Fuel crown.

Dixon and his Miller Lite/Ameriquest crew are battling for a third title in four seasons, and the team's performance through the first eight races of the 2005 NHRA POWERade season gives them reason to beoptimistic. Dixon racked up his 24th career No. 1 qualifying award, along with posting a season-best speed (331.94-mph) last weekend in Ohio. Combined with one win in two final round appearances and a career-best elapsed time (4.481-seconds), Dixon and company know there will be more enjoyable moments along the 23-race journey that makes its annual stop in the Sunflower State this weekend.

When the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual Memorial Day visit to Kansas' state capitol, May 26-29, for the 17th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals, the series will wrap-up the first of four scheduled three-race swings. Dixon, the 2003 winner of the Topeka race, knows how to keep an even keel and that a strong showing at Heartland Park can vault the Miller Lite/Lucas Oil team right into title contention.

"I've learned to not let the highs get you too high or to let the down times get you too down," Dixon said. "In my little world of driving the race car, I know what I need to worry about and what not to worry about. I'm just focusing on doing my job and holding up my end of the deal to the team. It's my job to do my best and my part for Don Prudhomme and Dick LaHaie."

With his veteran leadership skills, along with leading the Top Fuel category in average reaction time, the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year is doing everything in his power to help the team compete for another championship. With a bit of luck to go along with Dixon's driving and a strong LaHaie tune-up, the Miller Lite dragster might just experience a few more highs over the course of the 2005 NHRA campaign.

"We have a good running car, but we've lost a couple of close races," Dixon said. "At this point, the only car that this swing has worked out for is Doug Kalitta. I still think we have a strong race car and I know that we have the opportunity to do well at every event that we go to. The race tracks are being prepped more inconsistently lately and that has affected us. If we can get a handle on that, I know that we can make a good showing at each race."

Dixon Does Topeka...

What do you like most about Heartland Park Topeka?

I like that the race track has a lot of shutdown area.

What is your favorite memory from Heartland Park Topeka?

I won my first round of racing at Topeka during a Division 5 race when I was driving John Mitchell's A/Fuel dragster.

What is your favorite Topeka-area restaurant?

Paisano's Ristorante is my favorite place to eat in Topeka. My wife, Ali, loves Mr. Goodcents, it's a sub-sandwich place across the street from where the team stays.

When you hear 'Heartland Park Topeka' the first thing that comes to mind is?

I really enjoy going to Heartland Park. Ray Irwin cares about having the finest facility in that part of the country. He has done a lot to the place. It's really nice to see someone that wants a track that's both fan-friendly and racer-friendly. That makes you feel good going there each year.

-www.snakeracing.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie