Pomona III: Larry Dixon summary

From The Snake Pit Larry Dixon & Miller Lite Dragster Cap Winston Championship Runner-Up Season With Many Career Bests And Highlights POMONA, CA (Nov. 11) Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme Racing's Miller Lite Top Fuel team posted a runner-up...

From The Snake Pit
Larry Dixon & Miller Lite Dragster Cap Winston Championship Runner-Up Season With Many Career Bests And Highlights

POMONA, CA (Nov. 11) Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme Racing's Miller Lite Top Fuel team posted a runner-up finish at Sunday's NHRA season finale AAA of Southern California NHRA Finals. Dixon's career-best Winston Championship runner-up season featured many career bests and first time accomplishments for the 35-year-old driver who has a bright future after just seven seasons behind the wheel.

Among his accolades this season are:
* career-best 6 wins in a season
* career-best 9 finals in a season
* career-best 4 low qualifier awards in a season (poles)
* career-best speed mark of 327.27 mph (Dallas)
* 2nd career win at the U.S.Nationals at Indianapolis
* 2nd career Top Fuel Shootout win
* Snake Racing's double up win with Ron Capps at Brainerd,MN (the 6th time in NHRA history)
* 1st career win at Denver
* 1st career win at Columbus
* 1st career win at Dallas
* Top Fuel's longest current 1st round win streak (26 events)

Below are quotes from Dixon following Sunday's semifinal finish;

"Yes, We had a real good season and yes, I am a little bummed about today. We came .005 short of winning another $100,000, but it wasn't a factor in deciding the championship. That was pretty much already done at Las Vegas. It's been a fun year and I am kind of sad to see it end. I have had so much fun this year, probably more fun that in my rookie year. It was just sheer fun going out and driving good and winning. I told (crew chief)Dick LaHaie that I wish this season was going another six months. We didn't win every race, but each time we pulled up to the starting line somebody had to race hard to beat us and as a driver, that's all you want.

"There have been several highlights this season, beginning with he birth of my son (Donovan Nov. 29, 2000). Winning places that I never won before like Columbus and Denver, winning Indianapolis that was huge. Coming here in the Winternationals (Feb. 2001), we lost in the semifinals, but they had the Cacklefest where they push started all the old nostalgia cars that used to run here. I got to sit in the tow vehicle that push started my dad (Larry, Sr.) between the semis and finals. That was an absolute highlight because it made me feel like a kid again to cheer on my hero, my dad."

"For Snake Racing, doubling up at Brainerd was a big deal. When we first started going there it seemed like we didn't have the luck. It kind of came around as we won in 1999 and again this year. It has turned out to be a pretty nice place to go."

"(The Championship race) has taught me the importance of every round. You have people like Snake and LaHaie telling you, but you don't know until you're in the middle of it and you're feeling it. I didn't really know how I would react until you have been thrown in with the wolves and I really enjoyed it. I thrived on it. This has absolutely been the best time. As the season has progressed there has been more pressure on the team and on me and all of us have risen to the occasion. Everybody accepted the challenge and I was thrilled and I was happy with my performance."

"We are slowly working our way to the top. We didn't get there as fast as we wanted to, but finishing third last season, out first full season with LaHaie, then come back this year and win six events plus the Shootout and finish second, that was great. Bernstein had a better year. Not much, but 95 points better."

Dixon's last race of the 2001 season under the Winston sponsorship banner resulted in his ninth semifinal finish of the year. His opening round pass of 4.509 seconds at 321.58 mph defeated Rhonda Hartman Smith's lap of 7.595 seconds 106.09 mph. Dixon's second round effort of 4.507 seconds at 322.11 mph was low elapsed time of the day and sent Gary Scelzi home after his run of 7.744 seconds at 102.18 mph fell short.

The semifinals put Dixon up against Mike Dunn for the eighth time this season. Dixon's Miller Lite Dargster posted a quick time of 4.526 seconds at 321.65 mph, however it was Dunn's lap of 4.518 seconds at 330.31 mph that would take the win light. The combination of Dunn and Scelzi has now been responsible for ending Dixon's winning hopes at Pomona for each of the last eight races at Pomona Raceway.

2001 FINAL Winston Top Fuel Point Standings - Top 5

1. Kenny Bernstein 2,102
2. Larry Dixon 2,007
3. Doug Kalitta 1,598
4. Mike Dunn 1,594
5. Gary Scelzi 1,581


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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Mike Dunn , Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie