Columbus: Larry Dixon preview

Dixon aims to continue his historic performance at Columbus race HEBRON, Ohio (June 7, 2004) Some drivers would fantasize about winning four races in their entire driving career, let alone winning at the same race track in four consecutive ...

Dixon aims to continue his historic performance at Columbus race

HEBRON, Ohio (June 7, 2004) Some drivers would fantasize about winning four races in their entire driving career, let alone winning at the same race track in four consecutive seasons. That's the immediate goal of Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite team this weekend at National Trail Raceway just outside of Ohio's state capital.

The Pontiac Excitement Nationals is one of the more historic events on the 23-race NHRA schedule and this weekend's race is the 40th running of the former Springnationals. Only two other races have been contested longer than the annual race in the Buckeye State and Dixon has twice reached the winner's circle at both the Winternationals and U.S. Nationals.

In the 39 previous Pontiac Excitement Nationals, Dixon is the only Top Fuel driver to reach the winner's circle in three consecutive seasons. Legends like Prudhomme and Shirley Muldowney have won two straight at the Ohio facility, but the 37-year-old Indianapolis resident is the only driver to claim three straight wins at National Trail Raceway.

"It's nice to know that we've had a good setup going into the Columbus race," Dixon said. "The past three years it's been held on Father's Day. I've only been a father three years and I've won all three times on Father's Day at Columbus. So, that's pretty cool."

After posting a second round finish at the Topeka (Kan.) event, the Miller Lite team spent Memorial Day working on their setup with the goal being round victories and race wins.

"We tested at Topeka after the event and learned some things that should help us," Dixon said. "I'm not sure how that would apply going into the Columbus race, but hopefully they will benefit us in the future."

Prudhomme has been around the sport of drag racing longer than most and is well aware that the racing game can be humbling at times. With that in mind, the Snake has all the confidence that his Top Fuel team will soon again be a scary force in the dragster wars.

"Considering the past success of the team at Columbus, let's hope this will be the one that will start turning the year around for the guys," Prudhomme added. "They've been on a quest to find more performance from the car and it's getting better. Columbus should be a real good race for us."

If Dixon and his Dick LaHaie-tuned rail are to right the ship and make a charge towards competing for a third straight NHRA Top Fuel crown, there would be no more appropriate place to start than with a trip to the winner's circle at Columbus.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Shirley Muldowney , Larry Dixon , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie