DIXON TO REACH ANOTHER CAREER MILESTONE AS NHRA ROARS INTO ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (May 1, 2006) -- Since taking over the driver's seat for legendary team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme at the start of the 1995 NHRA season, Larry Dixon has ...
DIXON TO REACH ANOTHER CAREER MILESTONE AS NHRA ROARS INTO ATLANTA
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 1, 2006) -- Since taking over the driver's seat for legendary team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme at the start of the 1995 NHRA season, Larry Dixon has developed a knack for making headlines. From earning his first career victory in just his second start (Phoenix 1995) to capturing 17 wins en route to claiming consecutive NHRA Top Fuel championships (2002-03) the veteran Top Fuel pilot has racked up some impressive statistics.
Dixon, now in his 12th season as driver of Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel dragster, the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year will reach another milestone when qualifying for the 26th annual Summit Racing Southern Nationals begins on Friday, May 5 -- his 250th career race. Only 11 other active Top Fuel or Funny Car drivers have reached the 250-race mark, and Dixon's achievement comes at a race track, Atlanta Dragway, where he's visited the winner's circle three times (1996, 2002-03).
"For one reason or another, we've done well there," Dixon said. "When we really got good at it is when Dick LaHaie came on. It was his ability to get a car down a hot, humid race track. He's one of the best ever in the sport at that. We go to Atlanta during that time of year, so that's why we've done well there. My hope is that we can carry on a tradition that he's been able to start for us."
The second generation racer enters the race ranked third on the all-time Top Fuel win list, just one victory from equaling second place driver Kenny Bernstein. A breakdown of Dixon's career statistics displays the consistent performance that he and his Miller-backed teams have maintained over the past decade. Dixon has amassed 38 wins in 70 final round appearances, averaging a trip to the winner's circle every 15 starts. He has advanced to the semifinal round of eliminations 45 times. Dixon also has claimed the No. 1 qualifying position 26 times in his career.
"It's more of a reflection of Don Prudhomme's organization than it is anything," Dixon said. "He's able to put together a great team and have a long running sponsor like Miller and I think everybody on the team has been able to pull their weight, so we've been able to keep this thing going and that's just a byproduct of it. It's not just me getting my 250th race. It's also Miller's 250th race and Don Prudhomme's 250th race as solely a team owner. There's a lot of things that to go into it, it isn't all about Larry Dixon."
It may not just be all about Dixon. Nevertheless, without a talented shoe that's willing to blast to 330-mph speeds on a weekly basis, there are no 250 races, 38 victories or consecutive NHRA titles. And with a bit more of that Miller Lite/Lucas Oil team's Atlanta Dragway magic, the veteran nitro pilot will attain two impressive accomplishments over the course of one race weekend.