DIXON LOOKING TO DEFEND U.S. NATIONALS TITLE AT HOME TRACK CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 29, 2006) Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon has experienced a great deal of success on the NHRA circuit since his Rookie of the Year-winning campaign 12...
DIXON LOOKING TO DEFEND U.S. NATIONALS TITLE AT HOME TRACK
CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 29, 2006) Two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon has experienced a great deal of success on the NHRA circuit since his Rookie of the Year-winning campaign 12 seasons ago in his then black MGD dragster. Among the many accolades that Dixon has garnered is three career victories at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, NHRA drag racing's marquee event. His first Indy triumph came in 1995 when he powered his black and gold rail to the U.S. Nationals victory in his professional debut at Indy.
Winning the U.S. Nationals can define a career in the high-speed sport of quarter mile drag racing. Capturing the elusive victory on Labor Day is as monumental as winning the season-long championship to many involved in the 300-mph trade. A victory at Indy places a driver in the annals of NHRA's rich history where their name will be seen alongside drag racing greats like Don Prudhomme, Don Garlits and Shirley Muldowney.
Dixon enters his 12th career Labor Day weekend affair as the defending event champion after collecting four win lights behind the wheel of his 8,000 horsepower Miller Lite rail en route to claiming his third career U.S. Nationals title one year ago. Living just minutes away from the storied Indiana quarter mile, the 38-time NHRA winner eyes a second straight Indy crown at the 52nd running of the celebrated Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 30-Sept. 4, at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis. Dixon and team owner Prudhomme have combined to win 10 U.S. Nationals titles.
Dixon's performance on race day last September was nothing less than impressive. He powered his Miller Lite/Lucas Oil dragster to low elapsed time of the semifinals and final round on the path to victory. His 4.521-second E.T. in the final round was the quickest run of eliminations as the Miller Lite team celebrated with a trip to the winner's circle. The second generation Top Fuel racer tested his Miller-backed rail last week at ORP and is eager to hit the pavement again when qualifying kicks-off at 7:30 p.m. on September 1.
"I'm looking forward to the race," Dixon said. "Obviously it's our most prestigious event on tour. We had a decent test at ORP (O'Reilly Raceway Park) last week, and I'm hoping that the things we did will apply to the race and help our performance this weekend.
"I think living here in Indy has made it less intimidating racing at the U.S. Nationals. You pretty much drive by the race track every day living here. I look at the track as a friend rather than a once a year acquaintance."
If Dixon and his Don Bender-led team can light up the scoreboard four more times on Monday afternoon, then O'Reilly Raceway Park is a friend that the veteran racer wouldn't mind running into on a daily basis.
U.S. NATIONALS NOTES
Dixon is a three-time U.S. Nationals winner (1995, 2001, and 2005).
O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis is one of seven tracks where Dixon has earned at least three victories. He also was the runner-up at the Indy race in 2002.
Dixon's three U.S. Nationals victories ranks third all-time at O'Reilly Raceway Park. Don Garlits collected eight Top Fuel wins at The Big Go.
Dixon's team owner, Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, is a seven-time U.S. Nationals winner (four Funny Car and three Top Fuel). Snake has combined to win 10 U.S. Nationals titles as a driver/owner.