Bristol: Larry Dixon has winning momentum

The Dixon Dispatch The Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster BRISTOL, TN (April 23) - Larry Dixon has never won an elimination round of NHRA Winston Drag Racing at Bristol Dragway in his career, but both momentum and ...

The Dixon Dispatch
The Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster

BRISTOL, TN (April 23) - Larry Dixon has never won an elimination round of NHRA Winston Drag Racing at Bristol Dragway in his career, but both momentum and history are on the side of the Miller Lite Dragster pilot.

Since the reconstruction of Thunder Valley, the NHRA has seen only specialty events in Bristol like the Winston Showdown. Those events have gone away now and have been replaced with an NHRA National Event points meet, the Inaugural Mac Tools Thunder Valley Nationals (Apr. 27-29), which is worthy of the beautiful new facility. And no one is more pleased to see the format change than Dixon, who in two trips to Bristol has seen a pair of first rounders to both Funny Car drivers Whit Bazemore (1999) and Frank Pedregon (2000) during the Funny Car vs. Top Fuel exhibitions.

"It will be real nice," said Dixon. "The response that we got from the fans last year was that they were all ready to see us race against our own kind for real points and real money and go out and get after it. By it no longer being an invite only event, we will see more cars and I imagine we will see more fans as well."

There are a few good reasons why Dixon might just be able to go some rounds and perhaps even win the Top Fuel title at this weekend's race. First, Crew Chief Dick LaHaie and squad have the Miller Lite Dragster running at a very consistent clip and are fresh off a win last weekend at the rain-delayed Gatornationals (Apr. 21). Secondly, since LaHaie joined Snake Racing, Dixon has been able to find success at tracks that he has historically not faired very well at in the past. One example of this newfound success was at Sears Point Raceway in Sonoma, CA last season.

Before LaHaie's arrival, Dixon lost in the first round for five straight years. That all changed last season as Dixon not only reached the second round at Sears Point for the first time, but he advanced to the final round and a runner up finish. If the formula holds true, then Dixon may be looking to win his second race of the season at Bristol and is in position to take over first place in the Winston Points race.

"Bristol should be different on a couple of counts," said Dixon. "We are running this event in April now instead of in July and the weather will be a lot cooler than in the past. Also, there's been another year of curing at this track and like we saw in Vegas, it effected the performance, so with the change in the weather conditions, we could see some records broken here too. I remember that my dad used to race at some IHRA events here in the past and I think Snake ran a few also. The people down south love racing and I am just excited to go there." <pre> Dixon's Career Results in Bristol

Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1999 Winston Shwdn. No. 11 1st round-W. Bazemore 2000 Winston Shwdn. No. 6 1st round-F. Pedregon </pre> Snake Speaks about Bristol!

"I remember back in '67 that Bristol was a really big deal and a really big track for us. The younger guys don't remember that, but it certainly was a hot spot in the early days. It was bad ass! In 1967 I was driving for Lou Baney and Carol Shelby in the Super Snake car. We had a Ford Cammer and we beat Pete Robinson in the final. I also remember there used to be a bin down on the top end of the track that made you veer left, otherwise you would run right into the mountain." <pre> 2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings

1. Mike Dunn 404 n/a 2. LARRY DIXON 399 5 out 3. Kenny Bernstein 351 53 out 4. Doug Kalitta 336 68 out 5. Darrell Russell 323 81 out 6. Gary Scelzi 319 85 out 7. Tony Schumacher 246 158 out 8. Doug Herbert 231 173 out 9. Andrew Cowin 226 178 out 10. David Grubnic 223 181 out </pre> Larry Dixon to Meet Bristol Drag Racing Fans

NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making appearances this week in the Bristol area where he will meet local drag racing fans and be available for autographs and pictures. Below is a tentative schedule for this year's Thunder Valley Nationals:

Date-Time Location Thur, 4/26 7-9 pm Hooters (until 8 p) & Bennigan's, Fri, 4/27 445/730 pm Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 4/28 1245/330 pm Qualifying sessions #3 & #4=20 Sun, 4/29 11:00 am Eliminations begin =20

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Frank Pedregon , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Whit Bazemore , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , David Grubnic , Dick LaHaie