DIXON LOOKS TO GET LEG UP ON COMPETITION AT TOUGH DENVER RACE MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) & ...
DIXON LOOKS TO GET LEG UP ON COMPETITION AT TOUGH DENVER RACE
MORRISON, Colo. (July 10, 2006) Of the 21 facilities on the NHRA circuit, Bandimere Speedway near Denver presents the most arduous task for professional drag racing's elite. Not only does the annual Mile-High Nationals begin the grueling Western Swing, but the thin air at nearly 6,000 feet above sea level combined with the warm summer temperatures keeps the drivers, crew chiefs and pit crew members on their toes.
Just as it's difficult for the 8,000 horsepower race cars to create adequate horsepower at such high elevation, it's also tough for the human body to function in the challenging conditions. For two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, driver of Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite dragster, the only modification he must make for the 27th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals, July 14-16, is a minor one.
"The only thing different for me is mixing 90-percent of nitro (methane) instead of 85-percent like at the other 22 races," Dixon said. "It's very challenging for the crew chiefs. The set-up that teams used last year will be ineffective this year because of the technology in the sport. We don't run the same ignition or tires, so stuff from the past doesn't come into play. It's a clean sheet of paper."
Coming off the two week mid-season break, Dixon and the Miller Lite crew are aiming for a strong showing during the Western Swing, which takes NHRA teams from Denver to Seattle and Sonoma, Calif. in consecutive weeks. Dixon, who three seasons ago became just the fourth driver in NHRA history to sweep the Western Swing of races, enters the Mile-High Nationals just 22 points from fourth place in the harsh Top Fuel division.
"The break allows the teams to get caught up and rethink what game plan and strategy they've got going," Dixon said. "We're going to do six races in eight weeks, so the season is going to go fast."
Two of Dixon's 38 career victories, which rank third all-time in Top Fuel competition, have come high atop the scenic Colorado drag strip. If the decorated racer can beat the difficult odds and capture his third victory at Bandimere Speedway en route race to a strong showing during the swing, the Miller Lite team could position itself to be a player as the 2006 NHRA season winds down this fall.