Charlotte II: Toyota Motorsports preview

A GREAT DEAL HAS CHANGED SINCE NHRA'S LAST CHARLOTTE VISIT -- Larry Dixon left this spring's Charlotte 4-Wide event after being eliminated in the second round. Through the season's first four races, he had registered a win and a semi-final loss,...

A GREAT DEAL HAS CHANGED SINCE NHRA'S LAST CHARLOTTE VISIT --

Larry Dixon left this spring's Charlotte 4-Wide event after being eliminated in the second round. Through the season's first four races, he had registered a win and a semi-final loss, but also had been eliminated once in the first round and once in the second, and was fourth in the points -- 77 points behind series leader Cory McClenathan. Since that event, the Top Fuel landscape has changed drastically as Dixon has won 9 of the 14 events in his Al-Anabi Racing Toyota dragster after the 4-Wide and has advanced to the semi-finals or finals in 12 of 14 races. In addition, he's out-scored second-place by a whopping 297 points. After dominating the regular-season with nine victories, Dixon picked up right where he left off with a win in the Countdown to the Championships opener from the number one qualifying position at the U.S. Nationals. Overall, he has 10 wins in 10 finals appearances, six number one qualifying positions, 14 semi-final or finals appearances and an overall record of 50-8 during elimination rounds in the season's first 18 events. He currently holds a 46-point lead in the point race with just five races remaining as he attempts to win his third Top Fuel championship.

LANGDON JUMPS UP THE STANDINGS -- Shawn Langdon moved from seventh up to fourth in the NHRA Countdown standings after an impressive semi-final performance at last week's U.S. Nationals. Langdon defeated fellow Toyota-sponsored driver Antron Brown in the first round and Brandon Bernstein in round two before falling to Larry Dixon in a close contest in the semi-finals. Langdon appears to be trending upward late in the season with two semi-final appearances in the last five events to go along with two top-six qualifying efforts. This weekend, he will return to the event where he earned his first Top Fuel finals appearance.

LAST YEAR AT CHARLOTTE -- Charlotte marked the beginning of the 2009 Countdown playoffs with Antron Brown taking the points lead into the event. Unfortunately, he was defeated in the first round, while top qualifier Larry Dixon advanced to the second round. That left Shawn Langdon to carry the Toyota banner to his first Top Fuel finals appearance where he lost to Cory McClenathan. In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon was the number one qualifier and advanced to the semi-finals.

-source: toyota motorsports

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Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Cory McClenathan , Shawn Langdon