Points leader Dixon looks for Snake's 4th straight win at Atlanta

The Dixon Dispatch The Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster COMMERCE, GA (April 30) - Although he is a seven year veteran driver on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing circuit, Larry Dixon will be navigating Don Prudhomme's ...

The Dixon Dispatch
The Weekly News Release of Larry Dixon & the Miller Lite Dragster

COMMERCE, GA (April 30) - Although he is a seven year veteran driver on the NHRA Winston Drag Racing circuit, Larry Dixon will be navigating Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Dragster through unfamiliar waters at this weekend's 21st Annual Advance Auto Parts Southern Nationals (May 3-5).

For the first time in over three years, (three years, two months and 29 days to be exact), Dixon owns the lead in the Winston Top Fuel points race while he holds a slim 16-point lead over Mike Dunn. You might think that Dixon would change his strategy or approach to racing after such a long drought from the peak of the points column, but the seasoned veteran continues to maintain his typical attitude toward his goal of winning the Winston Top Fuel Championship.

"I think the goal of every racer is to go into a race weekend looking to gather as many points as you can," said Dixon. "We haven't won the most races so far this season, but we have gotten the most points. I would be happier if it was Nov. 15, but for now we just need to focus on going to Atlanta and making a strong showing there this weekend."

Atlanta Dragway has been kind to Dixon in the past as he notched his fifth career win there over Mike Dunn at the 1996 Fram Nationals. But he has also seen disappointment at the track with a pair of opening round losses coming at two of the last three trips to Commerce's quarter mile. In spite of this mixed bag of results, Dixon thinks that this weekend's race should pretty much remain status quo.

"I think that Atlanta will fall into the same category as all of the tracks that we have seen already this year," said Dixon. "If we have a good running car, then I think the conditions should come to us and we could have another good weekend."

The chances of Dixon getting his wish are in his favor as crew chief Dick LaHaie continues to give his driver a car that is capable of reaching the winner's circle almost every week. The Miller Lite Dragster has qualified among the top three cars at five of the first six races of the season and has run low elapsed time in nine elimination rounds this year. It's that kind of a car that could see Dixon net Prudhomme his fourth straight win.

"It's awesome," admits Dixon. "I am just really proud to be a part of Snake's team and I am very happy for him. I can't imagine what it must be like for him to win three in a row. I don't know how many employees he has now, but to have all the drivers, crew chiefs and pit crews all to come together to win three straight races is really special." <pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in Atlanta

Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Fram Nationals No. 5 Semis-C. McClenathan 1996 Fram Nationals No. 7 WIN-over M. Dunn 1997 Fram Nationals No. 14 2nd round-J. Head 1998 Fram Nationals No. 10 1st round-B. Vandergriff 1999 Southern Ntls. No. 2 1st round-R. Parks 2000 Southern Ntls. No. 9 Semis-T. Schumacher </pre> Don Prudhomme Speaks About Winning Three in a Row, Including His 70th overall!

With Ron Capps' victory in Bristol, combined with wins by Tommy Johnson Jr. ( Las Vegas) and Larry Dixon (Gainesville), Hall of Fame driver turned team owner Don "The Snake" Prudhomme now has a total of 70 NHRA wins (49 as a driver, 21 as a team owner).

"Yeah, winning three in a row is really difficult to do, but the stars lined up all right for us," said Prudhomme. "Those three wins were just a matter of having good people around us, people that have the same desire to win as I do. Ed McCulloch and Dick LaHaie have the same desire that I have. Those guys have put together some very focused, well organized and talented teams and have done a good job in establishing teamwork. I think things really started to come together for us when Ed came on board with his knowledge of the cars. I really have to credit all the success to Ed and Dick, as well as Tommy, Larry and Ron. I really feel they are the best drivers out there right now. We just need to keep it up because there's a lot of racing left." <pre> 2001 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings

1. LARRY DIXON 475 n/a 2. Mike Dunn 459 16 out 3. Doug Kalitta 449 26 out 4. Kenny Bernstein 429 46 out 5. Darrell Russell 377 98 out 6. Gary Scelzi 376 99 out 7. Tony Schumacher 338 137 out 8. Doug Herbert 265 210 out 9. Andrew Cowin 258 217 out 10. David Grubnic 256 219 out


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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Andrew Cowin , David Grubnic , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie , Tommy Johnson Jr.