The Dixon Dispatch Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster The Sun And The Spotlight Will Shine On Larry Dixon & Miller Lite Team As Day Races Return To Gateway International MADISON, IL (June 19) - The sunshine in St.
The Dixon Dispatch
Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster
The Sun And The Spotlight Will Shine On Larry Dixon & Miller Lite Team As Day Races Return To Gateway International
MADISON, IL (June 19) - The sunshine in St. Louis will beam on Larry Dixon and the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Top Fuel Team more than ever this weekend as day racing returns to Gateway International Raceway for the Fifth Annual Sears Craftsman Nationals (June 22-24).
Not only will Dixon, crew chief Dick LaHaie and Don Prudhomme Racing have to battle the heat of the Midwestern sun, but also the heat of the spotlight that will be placed on them due to their big win last week in Columbus and the momentum they carry into this weekend's race, the 12th of the season on the 2001 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series.
Dixon enters this weekend's event coming off his second (and biggest) win of the season. His Father's Day victory was his first at National Trail Raceway, the 12th of his seven-year career, and helped him move to within 41 points of the Top Fuel points lead. Much like last week, Dixon comes into this week's race in St. Louis having never won the Top Fuel crown. The closest he has come to Gateway's Winner's Circle was last year's semifinal round finish to Kenny Bernstein, and that is a trend that could be broken due to LaHaie's much-heralded warm-weather tune up.
"This year's race should be very interesting," said Dixon. "It will be the first time we have raced at St. Louis in the day time in the last three years and there is an unknown factor that comes along with that. I think in years past we have seen Dick LaHaie show his finesse in getting his cars down the track during hot and humid weather conditions. Well, this weekend's race should see the same kind of conditions we saw last week in Columbus, so I feel just as good going into this race as I am sure Gary Scelzi, Kenny Bernstein and Darrell Russell do. We have a car that should get down the track, so now it's just up to us to go over and make some runs and see how it goes."
The Sears Craftsman Nationals could also present a new leader in the Top Fuel points race as only two rounds of racing separate Dixon from points-leading Bernstein. With Dixon and the Miller Lite Team snapping Bernstein's win streak, it has allowed them to make a push to the top of the heap-a place they haven't been since April 29 following the Bristol race.
"I think its good for everyone in Top Fuel that we didn't see Bernstein win four straight races in a row," said Dixon. "It was huge for us to see him go out a round and a half earlier than we did last week and not let him get too far ahead of us. Our win allowed us to gain some ground back on him." <pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in St. Louis
Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1997 Sears Craftsman No. 15 First round-J. Amato 1998 Sears Craftsman No. 14 Second round-M. Dunn 1999 Sears Craftsman No. 3 Second round-Schumacher 2000 Sears Craftsman No. 10 Semis-K. Bernstein
2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings 1. Kenny Bernstein 955 n/a 2. LARRY DIXON 914 41 out 3. Mike Dunn 814 141 out 4. Doug Kalitta 749 206 out 5. Darrell Russell 711 244 out 6. Gary Scelzi 709 246 out 7. Tony Schumacher 565 390 out 8. Doug Herbert 535 420 out 9. David Grubnic 436 519 out 10. Rhonda Hartman 431 524 out </pre> Larry Dixon to Meet St. Louis Race Fans
NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making an appearance this week in the St. Louis area where he will be meeting and signing autographs for local drag racing fans. Below is a tentative schedule for Dixon leading up to the Sears Craftsman Nationals:
Date & Time Location Thur, 6/21 800-900p INCAHOOT'S, 3590 Rider Trail S. Earth City, MO (314) 298-7163 Fri, 6/22 530-900p Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 6/23 100-430p Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 6/24 1100a Eliminations begin
NHRA on Television This Weekend Date & Time Network Coverage June 23, 10-Mid ET ESPN 2 Qualifying June 24, 10-Mid ET ESPN 2 Eliminations