Phoenix: Toyota Motorsports preview

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES -- A year ago, Larry Dixon and the new Al-Anabi Racing team left Pomona and headed to Phoenix for the Arizona Nationals in a tie for 17th, 90 points behind the leader after failing to qualify for the Winternationals.

WHAT A DIFFERENCE A YEAR MAKES -- A year ago, Larry Dixon and the new Al-Anabi Racing team left Pomona and headed to Phoenix for the Arizona Nationals in a tie for 17th, 90 points behind the leader after failing to qualify for the Winternationals. The tough start came back to haunt Dixon as he fell three points short of a third NHRA Top Fuel championship.

This year, Dixon won't be playing catch-up after capturing his fourth Winternationals title at Pomona this past weekend. Dixon had the fastest pass in each of the four elimination rounds on the way to the victory and in the process will take a 26-point championship lead into Phoenix.

"A year ago at Pomona, we had a lot of great talent in our team and a lot of capable equipment and Toyota's support, but we weren't a "team" yet," said Dixon. "It just took some time for everybody to gel. Now the team knows me and I know them, and I know the car. Now we're getting it all together."

WINNING AT PHOENIX -- Current Toyota-sponsored drivers have won the last two Arizona Nationals with Antron Brown winning in Chandler last season and Larry Dixon capturing the top spot in 2008. Dixon also won at Firebird in 2005 and was the runner-up in both 2002 and 2003.

Both Toyota Camry Solara Funny Car drivers also have won at Firebird with Del Worsham winning in 2002 and 2004, and Cruz Pedregon victorious in 1993.

LAST YEAR'S ARIZONA NATIONALS -- Antron Brown defeated Brandon Bernstein in the final round to win the 2009 Arizona Nationals. The victory was the first of a series-high six victories for the Matco Tools Toyota driver. Larry Dixon also had a strong run at Firebird a year ago, registering the low ET at 3.802, but fell in the semi-finals to Bernstein. Both Morgan Lucas Racing drivers advanced to the quarter-finals with Morgan Lucas falling to Brown and Shawn Langdon beaten by Tony Schumacher.

In Funny Car action, the two Toyota Camry Solara drivers squared off in the opening elimination round with Del Worsham getting the best of Cruz Pedregon. Worsham advanced to the semi-finals before falling to eventual winner Ron Capps.

-source: toyota motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Antron Brown , Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Cruz Pedregon , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon