Points leader Larry Dixon eyes sixth win of the uear at "E-Town" Englishtown, NJ (May 14) - To say that NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point leader Larry Dixon is on a roll would be an understatement. Coming into this weekend's 33rd Annual Matco Tools...
Points leader Larry Dixon eyes sixth win of the uear at "E-Town"
Englishtown, NJ (May 14) - To say that NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point leader Larry Dixon is on a roll would be an understatement. Coming into this weekend's 33rd Annual Matco Tools Supernationals (May 16-19), Dixon has put Don "Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster in the winner's circle at five of the first seven races of the season. Crew Chief Dick LaHaie has tuned the Miller Lite/Mac Tools rail to four No. 1 qualifier efforts and has posted a staggering 23-2 record on race day, making Dixon a feared opponent each time he climbs behind the wheel.
Dixon enters this weekend's event on the heels of his second career victory at Atlanta Dragway, ending a five year drought since his first and only Georgia win in 1996 (over Mike Dunn). The eight-year veteran, second-generation driver, would like to end a similar stretch in New Jersey later this week as it has been six years since his first and only win at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park- a track that holds fond memories for Dixon.
"I would like to think that we have a decent chance of winning this weekend," said Dixon. "I really enjoy going to Englishtown and like to run there. Englishtown is a really big race and it is just as big to win there. It reminds me of the time I spent working on Snake's Funny Car when the race used to be called the Summer Nationals and was held in July. My best memory came in 1988 when Snake won in Montreal and then Englishtown for back-to-back wins. We were the first team to win two races that year."
Dixon's recollection of Englishtown is not just limited to his time spent as a crewman for his legendary team owner. His third career victory at Old Bridge in 1995 provided Dixon with a host of reasons to enjoy returning each year on the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing tour.
"In 1995, we qualified number one, set the national elapsed time record (4.665 seconds), and went on to win the event (over Scott Kalitta)," recalled Dixon. "That was a really big weekend." At that time, Kalitta drove the car to beat, which was tuned by LaHaie to consecutive Top Fuel championships in 1994 and '95. Now LaHaie has brought his consistent, methodical approach to the Miller Lite Team, making them a serious threat to win week in and week out. Since LaHaie's arrival in September 2000, Dixon has won 12 national events compared to the first nine victories he amassed over the first five and one-half seasons of his career. His eight low qualifier awards under LaHaie equal the first eight of Dixon's career, giving him 16 "poles" overall.