Brainerd: Larry Dixon preview

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2004) - Larry Dixon has powered his Miller Lite dragster to 34 victories and wins at 18 of the 20 current tracks on the NHRA POWERade circuit, including two career wins at Brainerd International Raceway. Of his 34 career...

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 9, 2004) - Larry Dixon has powered his Miller Lite dragster to 34 victories and wins at 18 of the 20 current tracks on the NHRA POWERade circuit, including two career wins at Brainerd International Raceway. Of his 34 career Top Fuel wins, only one earned Dixon a Harley-Davidson motorcycle-his 1999 triumph at B.I.R.

"I think the win at Brainerd in 1999 was pretty cool because we were flying the Harley-Davidson colors and we won the race and I ended up winning a Harley-Davidson from Miller," Dixon said. "Miller made an offer to the three Miller Lite drivers (at the time) Max Papis, Rusty Wallace and myself, and we were the first team to win with the Harley paint scheme and I won a Harley-Davidson Road King from Miller. I still have the bike and I ride it quite often when I'm at home in Indianapolis."

This year, Dixon doesn't have the opportunity to add another Harley to his garage, but rather valuable NHRA POWERade points as the two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion hopes to make a move in the points race as he chases a third consecutive series crown. The 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year eyes a fourth trip to the final round at B.I.R. when the NHRA POWERade Series makes it's annual summer visit to The Land of 10,000 Lakes, Aug. 12-15, for the 23rd annual Lucas Oil Nationals.

Back in '99, Dixon used a performance of 4.59 seconds at 294 mph to defeat popular veteran driver Eddie Hill to collect the win and the Harley. After the NHRA implemented a variety of rule changes to slow down the nitromethane-powered cars and ensure drive safety, a 4.59 at B.I.R. this year would be a stout performance.

"With all the rule changes we've had recently, all the teams are trying to find a power level to make the cars faster," Dixon said. "After the changes, I don't think the track conditions will be a factor at all. It's up to the teams to make power and to make the cars go quicker and faster.

"Some teams can pick it up quicker than others. It looks like the Kalitta team made a move after the rule changes. They seemed to hit it better than anybody. You hope that your team is one that can adapt quicker. Before the rules, we were pretty close and now we're working hard to get back to that level. All three races we lost were really close races. We'll keep working hard until we're the team to beat again."

If the two-time champ can find his way to the winner's circle at B.I.R. for the third time in six years, and ride a hot streak through the second half of the 2004 NHRA campaign towards a third straight championship, then Dixon just might have to buy a Harley to cap off the title run.

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Max Papis