Columbus: Larry Dixon preview



HEBRON, Ohio (May 16, 2006) – Despite not yet breaking through and making a trip to the winner's circle at the first seven races of the 2006 season, two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, driver of Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite dragster, is as confident as ever in his veteran race team. Dixon, the third winningest driver in NHRA Top Fuel history, knows the 10-month NHRA grind is a lengthy journey, and with the backing of an experienced race crew the Miller Lite team will encounter plenty of positives along the way.

Dixon and the Snake's Miller Lite/Lucas Oil crew aim for another highlight-reel weekend at a race track where they've had plenty of celebratory moments over the past five years, National Trail Raceway, as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual visit to the Buckeye State for the 42nd time. Dixon is a three-time winner at the Columbus-area track, having earned the three-peat at National Trail Raceway from 2001-03. He also qualified in the No. 1 position last year at the storied Ohio drag strip.

"I like our chances because of our team and what Donnie (Bender) is doing, not the race track," Dixon said. "I'm not comfortable just because of the race track. We're going to the bumpiest race track on the tour. From that standpoint, it's challenging for the drivers to get the race vehicles stopped there."

While the drivers are always on their toes piloting the world's fastest accelerating vehicles, the crew chiefs are constantly challenged to harness the 8,000 horsepower motors that propel these 330-mph rockets to get the race car from point A to point B in 4.5 seconds. Varying track and weather conditions are just a few of the elements they must battle in order to put the team in a position to qualify well and win rounds on Sunday afternoon. Weather will again be a key factor this weekend at Columbus as Mother Nature's finicky springtime temperament tends to douse the drag racing community with an occasional shower or two.

"Based on Atlanta, it was nice to go some rounds," Dixon said. "You hope that you can carry some momentum into the next event, but that really depends on what kind of weather we have if you can carry that forward. If it's cool, crisp and almost rainy, you can take what you did at Atlanta and carry forward. If it's a hot race track like we've seen in the past, it will be more challenging. You've just got to wait and see. I like our chances."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon