ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (May 16) - The 2000 Winston NHRA Drag Racing season continues one of the most hectic portions of its schedule this weekend (31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals, May 18-21) with a total of seven races over the...
ENGLISHTOWN, NJ (May 16) - The 2000 Winston NHRA Drag Racing season continues one of the most hectic portions of its schedule this weekend (31st annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals, May 18-21) with a total of seven races over the course of the next nine weeks-and that is just fine with Larry Dixon.
"I am looking forward to getting back out on the race track this weekend, no matter where it is," said the driver of the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Top Fuel Dragster. "The car has been running so consistently that I didn't want to take a week off after Atlanta, but the time off allowed (crew chief) Dick LaHaie and the crew to re-stock our arsenal and work on the performance of the car," said Dixon.
"Performance wise, there is still some E.T. on the table that Dick would like to get. We have been running consistently in the mid- to high-4.60s and would like to get that down around the low 4.60s for race day in order to run with guys like (Gary) Scelzi."
While many fans might think that this is a very pressure-packed time for Dixon, the 33-year-old driver believes that those who will feel the biggest impact of the tight race schedule will be the seven members of the Miller Lite Top Fuel Crew.
"For me, the way the car is running, it is very exciting to run back to back races. It is a major, major load on the crew though. On race day they are constantly changing engines and when it is over, they have four engines to work on from Sunday, as well as any that may have gotten hurt during qualifying. They have got two days to service all those engines and check all the inventory, plus another two days of driving to get to the next race-in some cases with over 1,000 miles to travel like when they go from Englishtown to Dallas."
"I can sympathize with those guys because I have seen both sides of it. I remember one year we had 10 races in 11 weeks when I was working on Snake's crew, but we didn't have to swap engines after every run like the guys do now. I only work for 4.5 seconds, hopefully four times on Sunday. Those guys are the ones that are working all day long from start to finish and only get those 4.5-second laps off to rest, then they are right back at it again."
<pre> Dixon's Career Results in Englishtown Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Mopar Nationals No. 1 WINNER- over S. Kalitta 1996 Mopar Nationals No. 2 Runner-up-J. Amato 1997 Mopar Nationals No. 3 Second round-G. Scelzi 1998 Mopar Nationals No. 6 Semifinals-J. Amato 1999 Mopar Nationals No. 5 First round-B. Vandergriff
</pre> Englishtown ranks tied for second as the winningest location for Don "The Snake" Prudhomme who won six times as a driver at Old Bridge Township Park Raceway (1976-77, 80-82, 88) and once more as a team owner in 1995 (Dixon-top fuel).
NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making several appearances this week throughout the Englishtown 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 31st Annual Matco Tools Spring SuperNationals:
Date & Time Location Wed, 5/17 8-10 p.m. Vitale's Bar/North Brunswick Pub Thur, 5/18 7-9 p.m. Parkside Pub/BazOOkas Fri, 5/19 4 & 8 p.m. Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 5/20 12:15 & 4 Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 5/21 11:00 a.m. Eliminations begin