COLUMBUS, OHIO (June 10) - Larry Dixon enters this weekend's 37th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals (June 15-17) ranked second in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points race and looks to pilot Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster to his first...
COLUMBUS, OHIO (June 10) - Larry Dixon enters this weekend's 37th Annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals (June 15-17) ranked second in the NHRA Winston Top Fuel points race and looks to pilot Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster to his first career win at National Trail Raceway. Following are some of Dixon's thoughts heading into this weekend's race, the 11th of the season.
On the level of competition in the Top Fuel class right now:
This is probably the strongest I have ever seen in the last 10 years. There are about five cars right now that absolutely are capable of running in the 4.40s and at 330 mph. The competition is just completely stout right now.
On the current points battle & his performance so far:
As far as the points race goes, there is only one other car out there doing better than we are, so I can't be too unpleased with that. We are one-third of the way through our season and we are sitting right in the middle of it (points race). Where we need to be able to run strong is during the summer months and that is one of the strong points for Dick LaHaie. So, I am hoping we can bank on our car to run even a little bit stronger this summer and continue on for the rest of the season.
On winning Columbus:
For me personally, Columbus is the only major left that I haven't won yet. I have won at Englishtown, Pomona, Indy and even Gainesville, but out of all the big races that have been around for a long time, I still haven't won at Columbus, so I would like to win. I would like to do well. In the past Dick LaHaie has done well at Columbus, so I just hope some of his success rubs off on me.
On the performance of the Top Fuel cars at Columbus:
I wouldn't look for anyone to be running 4.40s or 330 mph. We should start to see some warm weather. The numbers we saw last week (Joliet) and the week before (Topeka), well, we probably won't see those again until we get to Reading. It is difficult to get down the track at Columbus because of the weather. Obviously we will try to do our best to get down the track and do well, but I wouldn't look for any big numbers for the next three months. If we do, I will be surprised.
On the upcoming "hot & humid" tracks:
Columbus, St. Louis - I think the most talented crew chiefs are the ones that will do the best at those tracks. It's not just a matter of throwing everything you've got at these tracks and hoping something sticks. It takes finesse and I think you will see the really experienced crew chiefs like Alan Johnson, Dick LaHaie and Tim Richards probably do the best at these tracks.
<pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in Columbus
Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Springnationals No. 7 First round-E. Hill 1996 Pontiac Excitement No. 5 Runner-up-C.McClenathan 1997 Pontiac Excitement No. 9 Second round-J. Amato 1998 Pontiac Excitement No. 7 First round-C.McClenathan 1999 Pontiac Excitement No. 12 Second round-P. Romine 2000 Pontiac Excitement No. 5 Second round-J. Amato
2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings
1. Kenny Bernstein 877 n/a 2. LARRY DIXON 797 80 out 3. Mike Dunn 762 115 out 4. Doug Kalitta 695 182 out 5. Gary Scelzi 633 244 out 6. Darrell Russell 616 261 out 7. Tony Schumacher 513 364 out 8. Doug Herbert 481 396 out 9. David Grubnic 403 474 out 10. Rhonda Hartman 399 478 out
</pre> Larry Dixon to Meet Columbus Race Fans
NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making an appearance this week in the Columbus area where he will be meeting and signing autographs for local drag racing fans. Below is a tentative schedule for Dixon leading up to the Pontiac Excitement Nationals:
Date & Time Location Thur, 6/14 630-830p BW3s, Southgate Shopping Mall, Route 79, Heath, (740) 522-2999 Fri, 6/15 500-800p Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 6/16 100-430p Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 6/17 1100a Eliminations begin
NHRA on Television This Weekend
Date & Time Network Coverage June 16, 730-930p ET ESPN 2 Qualifying June 17, 600-800p ET ESPN 2 Eliminations