Bristol: Larry Dixon preview

Larry Dixon enters the Thunder Valley Nationals on a two-race win streak and in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Tony Schumacher by 199 points. Dixon won NHRA SuperNationals at...

Larry Dixon enters the Thunder Valley Nationals on a two-race win streak and in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Tony Schumacher by 199 points.

Dixon won NHRA SuperNationals at Englishtown, N.J. this past weekend winning his sixth race in the season's first 11 events; he was the No. 3 qualifier and defeated Steve Chrisman, Tony Schumacher, Brandon Bernstein and Antron Brown on his way to the winner's circle. Dixon is now tied with Joe Amato for most Top Fuel wins at the Englishtown track.

Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in nine of the 11 events so far this season. He has six wins this year: Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta Dragway, Joliet, Ill. and Englishtown, N.J.

Dixon has been an excellent qualifier this season having qualified in the top three at 10 of the 11 races. Dixon's average qualifying position so far this year is 2.55. He has been the No. 1 qualifier three times this season and 43 times in his career.

One year ago at Bristol Dragway, Dixon was the No. 4 qualifier; he defeated Pat Dakin before losing to Shawn Langdon in the second round of eliminations. Dixon won the 2002 event at Bristol Dragway.

Dixon has raced Tony Schumacher in eliminations seven times this season; Dixon leads the season series 4-3. In each of their seven meetings this season, the winning driver has gone on to win the event.

Dixon is third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel final-round appearances list. Joe Amato and Tony Schumacher are tied atop the list with 99 final rounds, and Dixon is third with 98.

Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is second on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 54 victories; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 64 wins. Dixon is seventh on the NHRA's all-time career victories list for all professional categories; Greg Anderson is in sixth place with 60 wins. Dixon is fifth on the NHRA's career round wins list with 568 round wins; fourth-place Bob Glidden has 597. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon prior to Bristol:

"I was very happy for His Highness Sheik Khalid at Englishtown because he had so many of his cars in the final round. It was a shame we didn't get to finish the race on Sunday when he was there; he couldn't stay for the final rounds on Monday because of his travel schedule. All around, it was a great weekend for the Al-Anabi Racing Team. We won, Del (Al-Anabi Funny Car driver Del Worsham) made it to the finals, Frank Manzo won in Alcohol Funny Car, Von Smith beat Mike Castellana in Pro Mod, and Matt Smith made it to the semifinals in Pro Stock Bike so it was a great Al-Anabi weekend. With Sheik Khalid at the track Sunday and his father, the Emir of Qatar, in New York watching the show on ESPN2, it was a great weekend for the entire team.

"All racers wish and hope for a season like we are having, and to say things are going well would be an understatement. I know when we finished off last year, everyone on our team was really excited for the start of this season because everything felt like we were just getting going. And to have the season start out like this has been great, it really has.

"What Alan (Johnson), Jason (McCulloch) and Tony (Schumacher) did in 2008 (15 race wins and season championship) was like the perfect storm as far as performance and wins go. We are a long way away from equaling what they did that year, but it's a great feeling going into each event knowing you are capable of winning, and this team certainly has that.

"Clinching a playoff spot this early is nice; it's great to know right now that we have at least 10th place locked in. As we go to the last six races in the regular season, and our goal will be the same as the 11 we have already run. At the end of the day, when you enter an event, there's money and trophies on the line, and we're all there to try to get them so nothing about the next six is different from the last 11.

"I enjoy going to Bristol. Bruton Smith has given the place a complete makeover, but I went to Thunder Valley as a kid with my dad, and I dig that place. That drag strip is one of the places where I grew up, and going there to race is a little bit special because I spent so much time there when I was a kid."

-source: al-anabi racing team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Greg Anderson , Bob Glidden , Frank Manzo , Brandon Bernstein , Matthew Smith , Von Smith , Steve Chrisman , Shawn Langdon , Pat Dakin