Brainerd: Toyota Motorsports preview

DIXON LOOKS TO CARRY MOMENTUM INTO COUNTDOWN -- With a 229-point championship lead, Larry Dixon has already clinched the top seed, but he will be looking to carry the momentum into the Countdown with another strong performance at Brainerd. Dixon...

DIXON LOOKS TO CARRY MOMENTUM INTO COUNTDOWN -- With a 229-point championship lead, Larry Dixon has already clinched the top seed, but he will be looking to carry the momentum into the Countdown with another strong performance at Brainerd. Dixon heads to Minnesota with seven victories in the last 12 races. During that span, Dixon has registered an impressive 35-5 record in elimination runs and has advanced to the semi-finals or finals in 10 of the 12 events. For the season, Dixon leads the series in wins (eight), final appearances (eight), semi-final appearances (12) and number one qualifiers (five). In addition, he has qualified in the top-three at 14 of 16 races.

FIVE INTO THE COUNTDOWN, ONE ON THE VERGE - With just one race before the Countdown to the Championship playoff begins, five of the six Toyota-sponsored racers - Larry Dixon, Antron Brown, Shawn Langdon, Morgan Lucas and Del Worsham - have already clinched their berth in the Countdown. In addition to Dixon's number one seed in Top Fuel, Antron Brown, currently fifth, could finish anywhere between fourth and sixth. Shawn Langdon can finish no worse than eighth by qualifying for this weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals. Lucas can finish as high as seventh and as low as ninth if he makes the field as well. In Funny Cars, Del Worsham is currently ninth, but could jump to as high as sixth with a win at Brainerd.

CRUZ DOWN, BUT NOT OUT -- Cruz Pedregon heads into this weekend's action as a long-shot to make the Countdown. The two-time champion trails 10th-place Tony Pedregon by 81 points and 11th-place Jeff Arend by 48, but has been surging recently. He made the semi-finals in the most recent round at Denver and has qualified in the top six in four of the last five races. He would need to win at Brainerd to have any chance at this year's Countdown.

LAST YEAR AT BRAINERD -- Morgan Lucas scored his second victory of the season by defeating Larry Dixon in the final round at Brainerd last season. Antron Brown made it three Toyota-powered drivers in the semi-finals before falling to Dixon, while Shawn Langdon lost in the second round. In Funny Car action, both Del Worsham and Cruz Pedregon were eliminated in the second round.

-source: toyota motorsports

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Tony Pedregon , Del Worsham , Cruz Pedregon , Morgan Lucas , Jeff Arend , Shawn Langdon