MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 13, 2004) - Having grown up in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, one wouldn't expect that Larry Dixon would frequent the quarter mile drag strip at Maple Grove Raceway too often, but rather tracks like Pomona Raceway, Lions ...
MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 13, 2004) - Having grown up in Los Angeles' San Fernando Valley, one wouldn't expect that Larry Dixon would frequent the quarter mile drag strip at Maple Grove Raceway too often, but rather tracks like Pomona Raceway, Lions Dragstrip and Orange County International Raceway. However, growing up, the California native would travel with his father, Larry Sr., when he raced his Top Fuel dragster competing at tracks across the country.
The elder Dixon, who won the 1970 Winternationals at Pomona (Calif.) Raceway, was a touring professional for just a few years, but having already established a reputation as a solid driver, he was respected everywhere he competed whether in California or on the East Coast.
"When my dad was a touring pro in 1978-79, he raced Top Fuel in Division 1," Dixon said. "So, he ran at Maple Grove quite a bit and always did well there. It's kind of cool when you can remember back about going to a certain track as a kid, and now I get to race there."
The Eastern Pennsylvania quarter mile is just one of two tracks on the NHRA circuit where Dixon has yet to reach the winner's circle as a driver. Dixon aims to collect a 'Wally' trophy from the 19th different race track when the NHRA makes its final 2004 visit to the Northeast, Sept. 16-19, for the 20th annual Lucas Oil Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa.
"I have a some good memories from Reading," Dixon said. "I worked on Snake's (Don Prudhomme) car and we won there in Top Fuel in 1991. Anytime you win at a track is a good memory."
After racing to his 35th career victory in Memphis (Tenn.) and posting a semifinal finish at the last two events, Dixon and the Miller Lite crew have put themselves in an excellent position to vie for a spot in the winner's circle at the final five races on the 2004 NHRA schedule.
"Provided that the rules stay intact as they are currently, I feel that we've got a pretty good setup going into the Reading race," Dixon said. "We ran well in qualifying at Indy and we went to the semifinals on race day, so I think we have a good shot at winning wherever we go."