Dixon Wins at Memphis Equals racing legend Don Garlits with 35 career victories MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Aug. 22, 2004) -- Larry Dixon collected his second career victory at Memphis Motorsports Park Sunday and equaled his racing idol "Big Daddy"...
Dixon Wins at Memphis
Equals racing legend Don Garlits with 35 career victories
MILLINGTON, Tenn. (Aug. 22, 2004) -- Larry Dixon collected his second career victory at Memphis Motorsports Park Sunday and equaled his racing idol "Big Daddy" Don Garlits for third all-time on the NHRA Top Fuel wins list with 35 career victories.
Dixon, who qualified his Miller Lite dragster in the No. 7 position, bested Brady Kalivoda, Scott Weis and Morgan Lucas before defeating former two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (1994-95) Scott Kalitta in the final round under the lights at the Tennessee facility. It was Dixon's sixth career final round appearance at Memphis Motorsports Park and his fifth straight visit to the money round at the Memphis race. Dixon and the Miller Lite crew last visited the winner's circle at Memphis in 2002.
Dixon used the fourth best reaction time of the day to take the early lead in the final round before powering to a run of 4.660 seconds at 311.70 mph to earn the win light and the 35th "Wally" trophy of his career. Kalitta's dragster overpowered the track and he slowed to a pass of 7.055 at 121.99.
"Anytime you can get a win it's huge," Dixon said. "In the last two rounds, the blower belt came off of the engine about 100 feet before the finish line, and you're just waiting for your opponent to drive around you. Both times, we were fortunate to get the win light.
"I can't say enough for Dick LaHaie and everybody on the Miller Lite crew. The guys are great. This is the fifth year in a row that we've been in the final at Memphis and I'm really thrilled to death. I wish we ran every week at Memphis."
Dixon has now won multiple races at 11 tracks on the NHRA tour. Dixon's 35th career victory is team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme's 49th win as an owner. The Snake drove to 49 wins during his 32-year driving career. He now sits two wins shy of the century mark.
"Watching (Don) Garlits race was like watching Mike Jordan play ball," Dixon said. "He just crushed everybody that he raced and he was my idol. I didn't know about basketball or NASCAR growing up, all I knew was drag racing and Don Garlits was the man. To be even close to him is an honor."
Dixon remains in sixth place in the Top Fuel points standings with 1,006 points. He is 19 points from fifth place in the standings and less than three rounds of competition from fourth place.
ESPN2 will televise two hours of final eliminations coverage from the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at 10 p.m. (ET) on Sunday, Aug. 22.
The next NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event is the 50th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Sept. 1-6, at Indianapolis Raceway Park in Clermont, Ind. Dixon is a two-time winner of the U.S. Nationals (1995, 2001).