ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 20, 2004) - Entering a race, two-time defending NHRA champion Larry Dixon has one immediate goal, qualify for Sunday's final eliminations. After that, the 35-time NHRA winner, like most other drivers, wants to qualify near the...
ENNIS, Texas (Sept. 20, 2004) - Entering a race, two-time defending NHRA champion Larry Dixon has one immediate goal, qualify for Sunday's final eliminations. After that, the 35-time NHRA winner, like most other drivers, wants to qualify near the top of the order and go rounds on race day, hopefully finding himself as the last of 16 drivers standing when eliminations are complete.
Dixon's goal will be no different when the NHRA POWERade Series makes its final 2004 visit to the Lonestar State for the 19th running of the O'Reilly Fall Nationals, Sept. 23-26, at Billy Meyer's ultra-quick Texas Motorplex, just south of Dallas. Dixon won the Dallas event three years ago and has reached the money round at the Motorplex three times in his career.
"My goal is really no different than any other time, qualify for the race and do well on Sunday," Dixon said. "We're kind of in the same situation we were in earlier this summer, when we sorted out the combination and were making good progress and then we had performance-related rule changes that threw many teams for a curve and we were one of them. It took a few races, but we got things sorted out and the car is running better again. We have a good running car right now and when you have that, you'd like to take advantage of it.
"Along with all the things that have been changing, we'll have a new tire this week at the Dallas race. So, we're going into another race with an unknown with how this tire will perform with the current rules package. I'm hoping we can hit it pretty quickly and build on the momentum we've had since after the Brainerd (Minn.) race."
Momentum plays a major role in a team making a late-season charge in the points standings. With five races remaining on the 2004 schedule, Dixon and the Miller Lite team know a solid run in the final five races can pave the way for a good start to the '05 NHRA campaign and that's what they're shooting for beginning at the Dallas event.
Dixon's Dallas Memory
"Snake (Don Prudhomme) had his last win in a Funny Car and last win in a Top Fuel dragster at Dallas and I worked on the race crew for both of those wins," Dixon said. "When Snake won in Top Fuel in 1994, the race was on my birthday (Oct. 23) and there's no better present than getting to the winner's circle."