DIXON'S TOP FUEL TITLE, 15 TOYOTA WINS MAKE 2010 NHRA SEASON ONE TO REMEMBER
TORRANCE, Calif. (Nov. 18, 2010) -- With Larry Dixon leading the way in earning his third NHRA Top Fuel championship, Toyota-sponsored drivers won 15 races and captured 15 number one qualifying positions during a very successful 2010 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Dixon was victorious 12 times and earned eight number one qualifying positions during a dominating season that saw him lead the Top Fuel series in virtually every category including wins, finals appearances (12), top qualifiers, elimination round wins (62), individual qualifying sessions led (33 of 87) and bonus points earned (130).
"The Al-Anabi Racing Toyota team was phenomenal all season," said Dixon, who also won championships in 2002 and 2003. "We had built a 282-point lead when the regular season came to an end and then it was adjusted to a round-and-a-half with the start of the Countdown, but the team just kept after it. It's just been so much fun. To win in this sport, you have to be surrounded by a tremendous amount of talent. I'm very fortunate."
Dixon assumed control of the Top Fuel championship lead at Las Vegas in April and led the final 17 rounds of the championship, going a perfect 12 for 12 in finals appearances. After building up his 282-point lead in the regular season, Dixon didn't skip a beat in the six Countdown races, winning three of the final six events and eventually taking the title by 102 points over runner-up Tony Schumacher.
In addition to Dixon's championship, each of the other three Toyota-sponsored Top Fuel drivers all qualified for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. The battle for fourth-place came down to the very last run of the season between fellow Toyota drivers Antron Brown and Shawn Langdon with Brown taking the honors with his victory over Langdon in the NHRA Finals at Pomona. In addition to his Pomona win, the "Ant" registered five number one qualifying positions and was fastest in 10 qualifying sessions. In the final three races of the 2010 campaign, he earned one victory and reached the semi-finals in each of the other two events.
While Langdon didn't get the Pomona victory, he did reach his goal of a fifth-place overall finish in just his second year in Top Fuel competition. Langdon emerged as a legitimate 2011 championship contender during the Countdown playoffs as he advanced to two finals and one semi-final during the six-race run. He'll be joined in the hunt by teammate and team owner Morgan Lucas. After a late-season shake-up within the team, Lucas earned the number four qualifying position and then advanced to the semi-finals along with Langdon at Pomona.
In Funny Car competition, both Del Worsham and Cruz Pedregon enjoyed varying amounts of success. Worsham placed sixth overall and advanced to six semi-finals and one final. He also was the number one qualifier at Las Vegas in his Al-Anabi Toyota Camry Solara
For Pedregon, it was a season of peaks and valleys. He struggled through the first half of the season, eventually falling out of the top-10 and the Countdown chase. Yet, he rallied to become one of the best stories of the season in winning two Countdown events (Charlotte and Reading) and was the top qualifier at Charlotte. In addition, he closed out the season by qualifying in the top six in 10 consecutive races -- more than doubling the total of the next longest streak at four.
-source: toyota motorsports