DIXON AND MILLER LITE CREW HOPE PRE-RACE TESTING PAYS OFF AT PRESTIGIOUS U.S. NATIONALS CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 29, 2005) -- Two weeks ago at the NHRA's sweltering bash at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, 37-time NHRA winner Larry Dixon...
DIXON AND MILLER LITE CREW HOPE PRE-RACE TESTING PAYS OFF AT PRESTIGIOUS U.S. NATIONALS
CLERMONT, Ind. (Aug. 29, 2005) -- Two weeks ago at the NHRA's sweltering bash at Memphis (Tenn.) Motorsports Park, 37-time NHRA winner Larry Dixon accomplished his goal of cutting into the triple digit points lead of category front runner Doug Kalitta after Dixon raced his Miller Lite dragster to a semifinal effort.
The two-time series champion and his Miller Lite/Ameriquest crew know there's plenty of work still ahead of they are to accomplish their goal of earning a third series title in four seasons. That's why they made the 480-mile trek from the Memphis track to the storied multipurpose facility at Indianapolis Raceway Park and spent three days testing to work on the tune-up of the Miller Lite rail and ensure a strong run at the final six events on the 2005 schedule beginning with drag racing's Super Bowl' event, the 51st annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 5 at I.R.P.
"We ran the car in various track and weather conditions and the car was very tunable at testing," Dixon said. "I would assume that Dick (LaHaie) would be happy with the progress that we've made, and if Dick's happy, then I'm happy."
Nothing would make the two-time U.S. Nationals winner (1995, 2001) happier than collecting the Indy hat trick and joining the likes of past champions such as Dixon's team owner Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, Joe Amato and drag racing pioneer "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, who all have collected at least three Top Fuel "Wally" trophies from "The Big Go."
"Anytime you can win at Indy it's special," Dixon said. "Whether as a driver or a crew member, it's always a great feeling. Both of my Indy wins are meaningful in their own way. Winning on Snake's crew in 1989 when we doubled-up winning the Skoal Showdown and the race is still my Indy highlight."
Making the right calls on race day is only part of the battle of mastering drag racing's most exhausting event. Enduring the six-day grind, along with all the events and appearances leading up to the start of qualifying on September 2 is another challenge that a team must overcome to be successful at the Nationals. Armed with an experienced crew of talented mechanics, the Miller Lite/Lucas Oil car has all the pieces in place to make a return trip to the U.S. Nationals winner's circle and a charge towards the NHRA Top Fuel crown.
"We're less than 100 points out of first place going into Indy and that's where we're at right now," Dixon said. "If we're a car that's capable of winning the championship, than we're in pretty good shape."
DIXON 'DOES' INDY...
What do you like most about Indianapolis Raceway Park?
Its close proximity to my house.
What is your favorite memory from Indianapolis Raceway Park?
In 1989 when we won with Snake's Funny Car. It was his last Nationals in a Funny Car and we won the Skoal Showdown and the race.
What is your favorite local restaurant?
Charbono's in Avon, Ind.
What do you like most about the Indy area?
The easy access to anywhere in the country.
When you hear 'Indianapolis Raceway Park' the first thing that comes to mind is?