DIXON NOT PHASED BY RACING AT SPONSOR'S HOME TRACK; LOOKS FOR ANOTHER STRONG SHOWING AT ROUTE 66 JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2005) - In all walks of the sporting world you hear about the vital home field advantage. In the drag racing community, ...
DIXON NOT PHASED BY RACING AT SPONSOR'S HOME TRACK; LOOKS FOR ANOTHER STRONG SHOWING AT ROUTE 66
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2005) - In all walks of the sporting world you hear about the vital home field advantage. In the drag racing community, each driver has at least one track they consider a "home" race track. One of those "home" tracks for two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon and his Miller Lite team would be Route 66 Raceway near Chicago.
While Dixon and team reside near Indianapolis, the ultra-quick Joliet drag strip is located just a few hours south of Milwaukee, home of Miller Brewing Co., Dixon's primary sponsor for his entire professional driving career that dates back to 1995, when he earned NHRA Rookie of the Year honors. Consequently, the Miller Lite/Ameriquest crew would like nothing better than a strong outing when the NHRA POWERade Series rolls into Joliet for the eighth annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals, June 9-12. Dixon collected the victory at the spring Joliet race three years ago en route to his first career NHRA Top Fuel crown.
"Everytime I get in a car that's owned by Don Prudhomme, tuned by Dick LaHaie and sponsored by Miller Lite, there are great expectations," Dixon said. "There's always pressure to try and do well at each race we go to. I don't feel any added pressure on Miller's home court."
After three consecutive weeks on the road, where Dixon raced to a final-round performance at the Topeka, Kan. event two weeks ago, the NHRA schedule provided its competitors with a much needed week of rest, giving Dixon and Co. a chance to regroup as they look to continue working their way towards the top spot in the Top Fuel order, and a third series title in four seasons.
"I'd be fine with racing every weekend," Dixon said. "I think that our car has shown potential to win everywhere that we've gone this year, but we've had a few mechanical hiccups along the way. The week off should help sort some of those issues out. Hopefully at the next three races we'll have a stronger race team."
Coming off of a No. 1 qualifying performance and a final-round finish at the last two events, Dixon and veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie are quite comfortable performing under the afternoon sun. With the extended forecast calling for temperatures in the mid to high 80s, Dixon and the Miller Lite/Lucas Oil rail should be a front-runner to post a solid performance on race day at Route 66 Raceway.
"It's one of those race tracks that if the weather is cool, you will absolutely see the quickest runs in the history of the sport," Dixon said. "If it's not cool, the crew chief's have their work cut out for them. Just like any other race track during the summer months."
Dixon Does Joliet...
What do you like most about Route 66 Raceway?
I really like how the facility is laid out and the stadium-style seating. It makes you feel like you're racing out of one end of the L.A. Memorial Coliseum or Soldier Field.
What is your favorite memory from Route 66 Raceway?
The final round in 2002 was great. We had a lot of Miller folks there, so to beat the Bud car on Miller's home turf was a pretty satisfying feeling.
What is your favorite Joliet-area restaurant?
Vela's in Joliet. It's a Mexican restaurant with killer food. We had some fans that turned us onto that place. If we're in Chicago, it would be Joe's Stone Crab.
What do you like most about the Joliet area?
It's far enough from Chicago that when we roll into town, the city of Joliet makes us feel very welcome to be racing there.
When you hear 'Route 66 Raceway' the first thing that comes to mind is?
It's the one track that has a party deck and it's brought to you by Miller Lite.