Charlotte II: Larry Dixon preview

Larry Dixon enters the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 46 points entering the second of six races in the Countdown to...

Larry Dixon enters the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway in first place in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings. He leads second-place Cory McClenathan by 46 points entering the second of six races in the Countdown to 1 NHRA Playoffs.

Dixon won the 56th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day for his 10th win of the season; Dixon has now won more races this year than any other season in his career. He is the first driver in NHRA history to win his first 10 final rounds in a season. His 10-win total is also more than any other driver in the four NHRA professional classes. Dixon defeated Bruce Litton, Steve Torrence, Shawn Langdon and Cory McClenathan on his way to the U.S. Nationals winner's circle. Dixon is just the sixth driver in the 47-year Top Fuel history of the U.S. Nationals to win the race as the No. 1 qualifier. The others to accomplish the same feat are Don Garlits (1964), Gary Beck (1983), Darrell Gwynn (1989) and Tony Schumacher (2006 and '07).

Dixon has never won at zMax Dragway. He was the No. 1 qualifier at this race last year; he defeated Terry Haddock before losing to Cory McClenathan in the second round of eliminations.

Dixon has won all six of the races in which he was the No. 1 qualifier making him a perfect 24-0 in eliminations when competing as the No. 1 qualifier this season.

Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in 14 of the 18 events so far this season; he remains undefeated in final rounds with a 10-0 mark in the season's first 18 races. His 10 wins happened at Pomona, Calif., Baytown, Texas, Las Vegas, Atlanta Dragway, Joliet, Ill., Englishtown, N.J., Norwalk, Ohio, Sonoma, Calif., Brainerd, Minn. and Indianapolis.

Dixon has been an excellent qualifier this season having qualified in the top three at 15 of the 18 races. Dixon's average qualifying position this year is 2.61. He has been the No. 1 qualifier six times this season and 46 times in his career.

Dixon has raced Tony Schumacher in eliminations 10 times this season; Dixon leads the season series 7-3 and has won each of the last five meetings. In nine of their 10 meetings this season, the winning driver has gone on to win the event.

Dixon prior to zMax Dragway:

"Winning the first playoff race was great because it was the U.S. Nationals, our biggest race of the year, and it allowed the Al-Anabi team to hold its position as the points leader. When you get right down to it, with everything we've done this year, we only have a two-round lead on second place. So it's not like we can sit back, rest on our laurels and enjoy what we've done. We have to keep going and keep pushing.

"Throughout the season, we've known the whole Schumacher team, all three cars, are very good cars. A lot has been said about Tony (Schumacher) for obvious reasons, but what Cory (McClenathan) has done and continues to do is really, really good. They're doing everything they can to win a championship of their own. So we certainly can't take them or anybody else in the Countdown lightly. They're all in the countdown for a reason, and just about anyone in the Countdown can still win the Full Throttle championship.

"Wining our first 10 final rounds of the year is an unbelievable accomplishment by everyone on the Al-Anabi team as a whole. I guess we've finally done something that Tony (Schumacher) hasn't done. I think he owns like almost all of the Top Fuel records, and that's one that our Al-Anabi team has. It's great for the team as a whole. Being in the sport for a long period of time, that kind of stuff just doesn't happen so to be a part of it actually happening is a little unreal. It's just hard to believe.

"We've only had three races at zMax Dragway, so it doesn't bother me that I haven't won there yet. It took me 14 years to win at Reading, and I hope it doesn't take me that long to win at zMax Dragway. It's a great facility. All of the cars I've driven at that track were good enough to win, but for one reason or another, we haven't done it. Our whole Al-Anabi team will keep trying until we do it, and hopefully, it'll be this weekend."

-source: al-anabi racing team

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bruce Litton , Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Don Garlits , Cory McClenathan , Darrell Gwynn , Terry Haddock , Steve Torrence , Shawn Langdon