ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2004) - There are a handful of races on the NHRA circuit that hold more significance than the other 18 or so events. All you have to do is hear names like Pomona, Indy, Gainesville, Columbus or Englishtown and any auto...
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. (June 14, 2004) - There are a handful of races on the NHRA circuit that hold more significance than the other 18 or so events. All you have to do is hear names like Pomona, Indy, Gainesville, Columbus or Englishtown and any auto racing fan immediately knows how important those particular races are to the sport of drag racing.
During his Rookie of the Year campaign in 1995, two-time defending NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon scored wins at Gainesville (Fla.), Englishtown (N.J.) and drag racing's Super Bowl at Indianapolis. That would make a career for some drivers. Dixon achieved that in just one season after taking over for his legendary team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme.
Dixon and his Miller Lite dragster have visited the money round at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park four times in his career, scoring one victory. The Southern California native aims to continue his solid performance at the New Jersey facility when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual visit to the New York City-area for the 35th annual K&N Filters SuperNationals, June 17-20.
"I have some good memories from Englishtown," Dixon said. "In 1989, we won with Snake's Funny Car. In 1995, we set the national record and won during my rookie year. It's one of the bigger more established events on the circuit and always a race you'd like to do well at.
"It was neat in 1995 because Rusty (Wallace) flew up for the race. They ran The Winston all star event on Saturday and Rusty flew up Sunday to watch the race at Englishtown and we won. To win with Rusty there made for a very good time for our Miller team."
The Northeast might be better known for its bitter rivalries like the Red Sox and Yankees or Rangers and Bruins, but you won't find more rabid, diehard drag racing fans than at Raceway Park. Whether it's the annual SuperNationals or a weekly grudge night, E-Town always pulls a solid crowd.
"It's a strong area for fans," Dixon said. "I think there are more Pro Stock fans at Englishtown then any other event that we go to on the circuit. The fans that go to Englishtown are hardcore and there are a lot of them."
Dixon and his Miller Lite crew would like nothing better than to fire up the passionate fans of the northeast with some stellar elapsed times en route to another trip to the winner's circle at famed Old Bridge Township Raceway Park as the 33-time NHRA winners inches closer to equaling his idol "Big Daddy" Don Garlits on the all-time NHRA Top Fuel wins list.