POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 3) -- NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon returns to Pomona Raceway looking to perform double duty. The Snake Racing driver will be defending both $100,000 Shootout and Winternationals titles. Originally from North...
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 3) -- NHRA POWERade Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon returns to Pomona Raceway looking to perform double duty. The Snake Racing driver will be defending both $100,000 Shootout and Winternationals titles. Originally from North Hollywood, Dixon will return to his old stomping grounds where he and the Snake Racing/Miller Lite team are looking forward to the final race in Pomona at this weekend's Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Nov. 6-9th).
Dixon has several fond memories of the Pomona Raceway. "Being there when my dad won in 1970 that was pretty cool," recalls Dixon. "Also in 1998 when we won the Winternationals that was pretty special, especially with my dad being there." And all the Shootout wins, being in four finals and winning three of them, that was a pretty neat deal."
Being just four years old, Dixon couldn't fully comprehend the significance of his fathers' win, yet thirty-three years later he come to realize. "I was just a kid going to the races, I didn't know," said Dixon who at the time was nearly the same age as his own son Donovan. "But as it turned out that was the only NHRA National event win that he ever received. It turned out it was a big deal, but at the time I didn't know and I don't think anybody else did either."
Dixon has looked to his father, Don Prudhomme, Dick LaHaie and several others for guidance and advice over the years. He couldn't have earned 33 career victories and two championships titles without them.
The Don Prudhomme driver hopes to collect $100,000 and a ride with the Clydesdales for the fourth time in his career (1995, 2001, 2003) during Saturday's $100,000 Top Fuel Shootout. Qualified at No. 2, Dixon will face John Smith in round one of Shootout eliminations.
"If you talk to people that are racing (in the Shootout) they're under the gun," said Dixon. "You only have two qualifying runs before you go into race mode. So from that standpoint you have to have your act together going into the event, you can't sort things out during qualifying while getting ready for the race. It puts teams under the gun, you hope to get both qualifying runs and that you make two good runs on Thursday and Friday so that you're ready for race day on Saturday."
Pomona is the grand finale of the 23-stop NHRA POWERade Racing Tour and the conclusion of Dixon's second consecutive championship season. "For me it went by really fast," said Dixon. "I know we had several back-to-back races but the season still went quick, in fact the last three years has gone by fast! On one hand I'm glad it's over and on the other hand I'm happy that the season is coming to end so that we can get ready for the Winternationals."
The Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals begins Thursday with one qualifying session at 3:00 and once again at 3:00 on Friday. The $100,000 Shootout runs three rounds of eliminations on Saturday beginning at 12:00, 1:45 and crowing the winner at 4:00 PM. Final elimination rounds begin on Sunday with an 11:00 AM start.