Memphis: Dixon stable after final round crash

MEMPHIS, TN (Oct. 8) - NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon is in stable condition after suffering minor injuries when the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster crashed en route to a runner-up finish at the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals at ...

MEMPHIS, TN (Oct. 8) - NHRA Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon is in stable condition after suffering minor injuries when the Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite Dragster crashed en route to a runner-up finish at the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park.

Reaching the final round for the sixth time this year, the Miller Lite car appeared to be well on its way to its third win of the season until it unexpectedly exploded violently near the 1,000 foot mark of the quarter mile drag strip. Dixon's car arched upward and then broke just ahead of the driver's compartment bulkhead while the rear half of the car then sailed into the air. The rear half stayed mostly intact as it sailed over the 1,000-foot marker, landing just before the finish line in opponent Gary Scelzi's lane.

Dixon was reported to be "alert and responsive with no visible injuries" by NHRA Director of Emergency Medical Services Dan Brickey, and was transported to the Memphis Regional Medical Center for evaluation.

"In his typical competitive fashion, Larry was incredibly disappointed to have damaged the car and was also very disappointed to have lost the race," said Don Prudhomme Racing General Manager, Cory Watkins. According to Watkins, Dixon is "alert, conscious and currently undergoing x-rays to evaluate a possible fracture of his left ankle and will most likely remain at the hospital overnight for observation."

The 33-year-old, Indianapolis-based Dixon began his day as the No. 10 seed and faced No. 7 seed David Grubnic in the opening round. The Miller Lite pilot, who left the starting line quicker with better reaction times than all four of his opponents on Sunday, posted his third straight win of the season in three total meetings with Grubnic as he ran his best time of eliminations (4.668 seconds at 305.98 mph) to better the Montana Express driver's lap of 12.319 seconds at 81.47 mph. In the second round Dixon improved his season mark to 2 wins and 1 loss (5-9 for his career) as his time of 4.743 seconds at 274.39 mph upset No. 2 seed Joe Amato's lap of 9.354 seconds.

The Miller Lite Team then reached the semifinal round for the 11th time out of 20 point-earning events this season where they would meet No. 3 seed Doug Kalitta for the eighth time this season. Dixon again left the starting line with the advantage as the Miller Lite/Raybestos car earned a holeshot victory as its time of 4.709 seconds at 299.53 mph defeated Kalitta's lap of 4.699 seconds at 260.01 mph. The win evened Dixon's season record to 4 wins and 4 losses against the MGM Grand driver this season and improved his career mark to 5 wins and losses in 9 meetings.

With the win, Dixon advanced to his sixth final round of the season and his sixth meeting of the year with No. 4 seed Scelzi. Dixon cut his best light of the day (.451) to take an early lead over the Winston Dragster, which smoked the tires but went on to win the Top Fuel title as a result of Dixon's crash.

Dixon remains third in the Winston Top Fuel points race with a total of 1,440 points - 223 points behind leader Scelzi (1,663) and just 97 points from second place Tony Schumacher (1,537). The Miller Team takes a much-needed week off before returning to action Oct. 19-22 for the 13th Annual O'Reilly Nationals at Texas Motorplex in Ennis, TX. - www.snakeracing.com -

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , David Grubnic , Don Prudhomme