Larry Dixon's Heated Top Fuel Battle Continues in Las Vegas Larry Dixon's Dallas Victory Keeps Miller Lite Dragster In Championship Contention Until The End As Exciting Top Fuel Battle Resumes In Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23) - Two weeks ago...
Larry Dixon's Heated Top Fuel Battle Continues in Las Vegas
Larry Dixon's Dallas Victory Keeps Miller Lite Dragster In Championship Contention Until The End As Exciting Top Fuel Battle Resumes In Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 23) - Two weeks ago the Las Vegas odds-makers may not have been too generous in assessing Larry Dixon's chances of driving Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster to this season's NHRA Winston Top Fuel Championship.
Dixon had just suffered a second-round setback to Kenny Bernstein at the Reading, Penn., event and was staring at a 58-point deficit between him and his nemesis.
Heading into this weekend's Inaugural NHRA AC Delco Nationals (Oct. 25-28) those same prognosticators will be forced to re-think their positions as Dixon stole the show with his sheer dominance last weekend at Texas Motorplex.
Dixon's sixth win of the season - the 16th of his career - was highlighted by; 1) his 11th career pole, 2) a new track record elapsed time mark of 4.50 seconds, 3) a career-best speed mark of 327.27 mph, 4) low elapsed time of the meet, and last but not least, a crucial semifinal victory over points leader Kenny Bernstein to steal momentum and close the gap in the championship chase to only 15 points - less than one round of racing.
Crew Chief Dick LaHaie tuned Dixon and his No. 91 car to six consecutive rounds in which he drove low elapsed time while extending Top Fuel's longest current first-round win streak to 24 straight races dating back to Oct. 2000. It is that type of consistency that has put Dixon and the Snake Racing crew in the position they are in now to fight their "red rivals" to the bitter end for this year's Top Fuel crown.
"We go into every event trying to win it," said Dixon. "When we left Reading we still had everything within our control. We were behind by three rounds, but we still had the opportunity to win the championship with three races left. With the win in Dallas, we got the first leg done. Now it's on to part two. There are eight rounds of racing left and whoever wins the most of those will win the championship. It really doesn't put any more pressure on me because we place pressure on ourselves to win as many races as possible."
In spite of the sudden momentum shift toward the Miller Lite pit entering this weekend's race, LaHaie is not taking anything for granted. "We are definitely the underdog coming into this week's race as far as our past performance goes at Las Vegas," said LaHaie. "What we will look is to try and do is apply the same kind of performance that we've had last couple of races."
Dixon's Career Results at The Strip
Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver
2000 Summitracing Ntls. No. 6 2nd Round-C. McClenathan
2001 Summitracing Ntls. No. 9 2nd Round-K. Bernstein
2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings
1. Kenny Bernstein 1887n/a
2. LARRY DIXON 187215 out
3. Doug Kalitta 1490397 out
4. Gary Scelzi 1483404 out
5. Mike Dunn 1464423 out
6. Darrell Russell 1347540 out
7. Doug Herbert 1140747 out
8. Tony Schumacher 1068819 out
9. David Grubnic 8431044 out
10.Rhonda Hartman 7591128 out
Larry Dixon Appearance & Racing Schedule
Below is the tentative schedule for Larry Dixon for this weekend's Inaugural AC Delco NHRA Fall Nationals.
Date & Time Location
Wed, 10/24Noon-2p NHRA media luncheon, ESPN Zone, NY-NY Hotel & Casino
Thur, 10/25 900-915a KKLZ-FM LIVE interview 600-900p Buffalo Wild Wings, 190 East Graig Road, (702) 642-0055
Fri, 10/26 330-630p Qualifying session #1 & #2
Sat, 10/271215-4p Qualifying sessions #3 & #4
Sun, 10/281030a Final eliminations
NHRA on Television This Weekend
Date & Time (ET) Network Coverage
Oct. 28, 130-230a ESPN 2 Qualifying
Oct. 28, 200-300p ESPN 2 Eliminations
Oct. 28, 700-1000p ESPN 2 Eliminations