ATLANTA (May 3) - Last weekend saw Larry Dixon post his second consecutive win of the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, as well as finally earning a win at Virginia Motorsports Park-a track where winning has been a difficult task for the top...
ATLANTA (May 3) - Last weekend saw Larry Dixon post his second consecutive win of the 2000 NHRA Winston Drag Racing Series, as well as finally earning a win at Virginia Motorsports Park-a track where winning has been a difficult task for the top fuel driver.
Now, with the momentum of winning the last two NHRA national events this season, Dixon hopes to conquer Atlanta Dragway for his third win in a row and a return to trip to the winner's circle in Atlanta for the first time since he won the 1996 Fram Nationals over Jim Head. But much like V.M.P.,the quarter-mile track in Georgia hasn't been an easy challenge for the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster, with Dixon posting a pair of first-round losses in 1998 and 1999, following a second round finish in 1997.
The entire Miller Lite Team enters this weekend's Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals (May 5-7) a much more consistent group then over the past few years. In fact, in addition to his two wins, Dixon has reached the semi-final round in four of the first six races this year. He is just 24 points out of first place and has not reached second place in the Winston Points race since his runner up finish at the 1999 Winternationals (Feb. 7, 99).
"I haven't felt this good about a car since 1995," said Dixon. With Dick LaHaie on our side, I feel like at every race we have a car that is capable of winning."
In what may prove to be a strange twist of irony, Dixon had reason to look ahead to this week's race in Atlanta when he had the front end of his Miller Lite Dragster do a wheel-stand very similar to the one he did in 1996 when he defeated Mike Dunn for the fifth NHRA win of his career. "The way the front end came up, I thought it was Atlanta 1996 all over again," said Dixon. "I remember that when I left the starting line the front end came up and I wanted to stay in it, so I pedaled it and the car went up again and started heading toward the wall, so I had to shut it off. When I lifted, the front end came down so hard that I blew the front tires and bent the wheels. I could see Mike Dunn go by me and figured he had won the race until I saw his car blow up and he shut off. I thought to myself that I could catch him, so I got back on it again and crossed the finish line about 100 mph faster than he did."
<pre> Dixon's Career Results in Atlanta Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Fram Nationals No. 5 Semifinals- McClenathan 1996 Fram Nationals No. 7 WINNER-over M. Dunn 1997 Fram Nationals No. 14 Second round-J. Head 1998 Fram Nationals. No. 10 First round-B. Vandergriff 1999 Southern Ntls. No. 2 First round-R. Parks
</pre> Snake Bites
In 1992, Don Prudhomme won his 44th career NHRA title with his top fuel win in Atlanta. The Snake would visit Atlanta Dragway's winner's circle one more time for Larry Dixon's win in 1996 in the Miller Racing "Splash" Top Fuel Dragster.
Larry Dixon to Meet with Atlanta Area Drag Race Fans
NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon will be making several appearances this week throughout the Atlanta 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 2nd
Annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals:
<pre> Date & Time Location Wed, 5/3 Noon-4 In studio, NHRA Heat, Tampa, FL 8-10 p.m. Damon's, 625 Dawsonville Hwy Thur, 5/4 7-9 p.m. Hooters, 3550 Gwynette Place Drive Fri, 5/5 3 & 7 p.m. Qualifying sessions #1 & #2 Sat, 5/6 Noon & 4 Qualifying sessions #3 & #4 Sun, 5/7 10:00 a.m. Eliminations begin