Pomona: Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing Pomona Preview

Larry Dixon, Top Fuel Dragster Dixon begins his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing tenure this week after 20 years with Don Prudhomme Racing. He finished second in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings recording his 14th consecutive top-10...

Larry Dixon, Top Fuel Dragster

Dixon begins his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing tenure this week after 20 years with Don Prudhomme Racing. He finished second in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings recording his 14th consecutive top-10 points finish. He won two races in six final-round appearances last season.

Dixon was the No. 2 qualifier at last year's Winternationals. He advanced to the semifinals where he lost to event winner Tony Schumacher. Dixon won this event in 1998, 2002 and '03. He has never been the No. 1 qualifier at the Winternationals.

Dixon won the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is currently third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 43 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 56 wins. Dixon is 10th on the NHRA's all-time professional victories list. He trails ninth-place Dave Schultz by two wins. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.

Dixon on the Winternationals:

"I had a great time at Don Prudhomme Racing for the number of years that I was there, but it was time for a change. Between crewing and driving, I was there for 20 years, so that's half my life. I have a great opportunity driving for Alan Johnson and his Al-Anabi Racing team, and I'm really looking forward to the challenge.

"With what Alan Johnson has accomplished in the last five years -- heck, the last 15 years - any driver would love to work with someone with his credentials. From the first time I talked to AJ about this team, what excited me is that he has a two-year, a five-year and even a 10-year plan. I'm flattered and honored that he wants me to be a part of it. Alan won 15 races at Don Schumacher Racing last year -- that's incredible, but what hooked me is his long-term planning as far as what he wants to do and where he wants to go. I want to ride his coat tails.

"At the Phoenix test, we made nine runs, running as quick as 3.81 seconds and as fast as 316 mph, my fastest speed at 1000 feet. This team has high standards; we ran quicker and faster than what I had previously, and they still want more. They want to step up their numbers so when we get to Pomona, we can be competitive.

"Now, Pomona is here, and it's time to go racing for real. It's game day. It's like Summer vacation is over, and it's time to go back to school. Most of the Top Fuel teams have had a change with the sponsor, owner, driver or crew chief so it will be interesting to see how it all shakes out at the end of the weekend; I just hope we're a part of it."

Del Worsham, Funny Car:

Worsham begins his Alan Johnson Al-Anabi Racing tenure this week after spending the previous 19 seasons driving his family-owned Funny Car. Worsham doubled as a Top Fuel driver running a limited schedule in 1993, '94 and '95.

Worsham finished 13th in the 2008 NHRA POWERade Funny Car standings. He won a race and earned his 11th career berth in the US Smokeless Showdown. He has won 22 races in 35 final-round appearances in his career.

Worsham has never won the Winternationals, but he was runner up to John Force in 1993. He won the season's final race at Pomona in 2001 and '03. One year ago, Worsham did not qualify for the Winternationals.

Worsham on the Winternationals:

"The team has already come along faster than I thought, but with Alan Johnson and Aaron Brooks involved, I should have expected it. The car is running unreal; I can't wait to get to Pomona to get started. Our two tests at West Palm Beach and Phoenix were better than I ever dreamed they could be, but when you have Alan and Aaron in your corner, with all the preparation they do, I shouldn't have been surprised with our early success. I know testing is different from real competition, but I enter Pomona with my confidence at a very high level.

"It been different not working with my family's team Aaron and Alan have made the transition as painless as possible and treated me like I've been a part of this team forever. It's really been great so far.

"They've designed stunning race car. When you see it on the track it's really stunning. From the paint scheme all the way to the assembly of the car, chassis and other components, it's been a pleasure to drive so far, and I'm looking forward to actually racing it this week."

-credit: ajaar

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Del Worsham , John Force , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Don Prudhomme , Don Schumacher