Englishtown: Dixon No. 1 heading back to Englishtown

* The Miller Lite Team has several years winning experience at Englishtown as team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme (funny car) and Crew Chief Dick LaHaie (top fuel) both won in their respective categories here in 1980. * Englishtown ranks tied...

* The Miller Lite Team has several years winning experience at Englishtown as team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme (funny car) and Crew Chief Dick LaHaie (top fuel) both won in their respective categories here in 1980.

* Englishtown ranks tied for second as the winningest location for Prudhomme who won six times as a driver at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park (1976-77, 80-82, 88) and once more as a team owner in 1995 (Dixon-top fuel).

* LaHaie also won the top fuel title in 1989 over Gary Ormsby, while posting a runner-up finish to Darrell Gwynn (1986).

LARRY DIXON DOESN'T BELIEVE THAT EARLIER SUCCESS AT E-TOWN WILL TRANSLATE INTO ANY ADVANTAGE FOR MILLER LITE TEAM ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (Sept. 6) - When Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel Team first traveled to New Jersey earlier this season, they sat third in the Winston points race, just 47 points behind leader Tony Schumacher. By the time the rain-shortened weekend was over (May 18-21), qualifying was complete and Snake's team took a bit of solace in the fact that when the 31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals resumed this weekend (Sept. 8-9), Dixon would be the No. 1 seed and have a first round bye in the 15-car field.

Crew chief Dick LaHaie seemed to have solved the quarter mile at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park that weekend as Dixon earned his ninth career pole with a lap of 4.644 seconds at 311.70 mph, was the only top fuel car to get down the track in both sessions on Friday, and was the quickest of Saturday's session at 4.699 seconds at 278.35 mph. But this weekend's weather conditions will be much different compared to the spring, and both Dixon and LaHaie are well aware of that.

"Because of the cold weather it made it very difficult to get down the race track that weekend," said Dixon. "I hadn't seen that kind of weather for at least a couple of years. It was really freakish conditions with the corrected air way below sea level, so it was difficult for the crew chiefs to get down the race track. But Dick was able to negotiate our engine to get the car down the race track. We made two good runs, both in the 60's and was the only car to make it down the track both days. I felt good going into race day even with only two qualifying runs. I thought we could go down either lane and run 60's doing it. I didn't care if they (the NHRA) set the field or not, but I am glad they did. That means we will have a bye first round and it sets up for some pretty good match ups, like Scelzi vs. Bernstein in the first round, and that could be a big deal when it comes down to the points race. So for us to get a free ride to the second round this weekend, that could be a real big deal."

Although winning the pole does have its advantages, Dixon is not putting too much on his top qualifier status. "Being the No. 1 qualifier hasn't really ever done a whole lot for us," said Dixon. "The last time we were No. 1 qualifier here at Englishtown we happened to win the race. They only give you one extra point between first and second qualifiers, where winning a race can mean a 100-point swing one way or the other, so winning races is a lot better than winning the pole."

<pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in Englishtown

Year    Event                   Qual.       Finish & Winning Driver
1995    Mopar Nationals         No. 1       WINNER- over S. Kalitta
1996    Mopar Nationals         No. 2       Runner-up-J. Amato
1997    Mopar Nationals         No. 3       Second round-G. Scelzi
1998    Mopar Nationals         No. 6       Semifinals-J. Amato
1999    Mopar Nationals         No. 5       First round-B. Vandergriff
2000    Matco Nationals         No. 1       ?   ?   ?

2000 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings

1.  Tony Schumacher     1,309    
2.  Gary Scelzi         1,240       69 out
3.  LARRY DIXON         1,184       125 out
4.  Kenny Bernstein     1,035       274 out
5.  Joe Amato           1,001       308 out
6.  Doug Kalitta        953         356 out
7.  Cory McClenathan    773         536 out
8.  Bob Vandergriff Jr. 716         593 out
9.  Doug Herbert        657         652 out
10. Don Lampus          634         675 out

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Cory McClenathan , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie , Darrell Gwynn , Don Lampus , Bob Vandergriff