DIXON LOOKING FORWARD TO ANNUAL TRIP TO HISTORIC COLUMBUS TRACK HEBRON, Ohio (May 16, 2005) -- Long before Larry Dixon was a two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and one of the most decorated racers in drag racing's rich history, the Southern ...
DIXON LOOKING FORWARD TO ANNUAL TRIP TO HISTORIC COLUMBUS TRACK
HEBRON, Ohio (May 16, 2005) -- Long before Larry Dixon was a two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and one of the most decorated racers in drag racing's rich history, the Southern California native was a quarter mile racing fan and historian. The second generation racer grew up attending drag races nationwide at places like National Trail Raceway with his father, Larry Dixon Sr., who also raced Top Fuel dragsters.
"My dad only raced at Columbus a few times, but I remember being there in 1976 when Shirley (Muldowney) won her first Top Fuel race," Dixon said. "That win turned her into a real threat and she won her first championship the next year. She went on to really make a name for herself."
Dixon has done quite well establishing an identity for himself behind the wheel of Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite dragster over the past decade, racing to 36 career victories and consecutive series titles in 2002-03. Three of Dixon's 36 wins have come at the historic quarter mile near Columbus, Ohio. Dixon aims to make it four wins in the Buckeye State and equal Muldowney for the most career Top Fuel victories at National Trail Raceway when the NHRA POWERade Series makes its annual visit to Ohio, May 19-22, for the 41st annual Pontiac Excitement Nationals. Dixon and two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Gary Beck have both earned three career wins at the Columbus track.
"The older races, like Columbus, are certainly more special to win then some of the races that have only been around a few years," Dixon said. "I think because the media puts more emphasis on winning those races."
For many years the annual NHRA event in Ohio was known as the Springnationals and was held each June. You heard the word Springnationals, you knew people were referring to Columbus. This year, the Columbus race was moved up one month and will now be contested in mid-May, which should present the drivers and crew chiefs with different race conditions than the usual hot, humid race conditions they're used to battling.
"Time will tell how it plays out," Dixon said. "We've never run the race that early. I know it rains a lot in June, but I can't imagine it raining any less in May. The temperatures might be cooler than what we're used to and if so, we could see some fast times this year."
Dixon Does Columbus...
What do you like most about National Trail Raceway?
Since Dicko (Dick LaHaie) came aboard, we've been successful at Columbus. When you do well at a track, what's not to like about it? I just hope that they fixed the shutdown area. From the amount of cars and motorcycles that had trouble getting stopped last year, I hope that issue was addressed.
What is your favorite memory from National Trail Raceway?
I would probably have to say the win on Father's Day a few years ago when we doubled-up with Snake's Funny Car (2002) would have to stand out.
What is your favorite Columbus-area restaurant?
The Firehouse in German Village.
When you hear "Columbus", what's the first thing that comes to mind is?