READING, PA (Sept. 10) - NHRA Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Team roll into Pennsylvania this weekend in search of their third consecutive victory, as well as Dixon's first career win at Maple Grove ...
READING, PA (Sept. 10) - NHRA Top Fuel points leader Larry Dixon and Don Prudhomme's Miller Lite Team roll into Pennsylvania this weekend in search of their third consecutive victory, as well as Dixon's first career win at Maple Grove Raceway.
Dixon sits atop the Top Fuel standings for the third event in a row and enjoys a 45-point lead over second place Kenny Bernstein. Dixon's best finish to date at Maple Grove was a runner-up finish to Scott Kalitta (who was then tuned by Dick LaHaie) in 1995.
There are two things working in Dixon's favor in terms of reaching his goals this weekend; 1) the momentum of back-to-back wins at Brainerd, Minn. (Aug. 19) and Indy's prestigious U.S. Nationals (Sept. 3) and, 2) crew chief Dick LaHaie's past success at the Mohnton, Penn., track.
"With the way the car is running, we do have some momentum right now, but as far as my confidence goes, it doesn't help at all because we still have to prove that we can get down the racetrack over and over and we still need to work just as hard," said Dixon.
"If you look at Dick LaHaie's track record at Reading, you can see that he knows what he's doing," said Dixon. "When I go up to the starting line, I feel pretty good that I have a car that is going to run pretty well. But I still have to do my job. I have to do the best I can to cut a light at the starting line."
To say that the Miller Lite Dragster is running well is an understatement. LaHaie and crew have tuned Dixon to low elapsed time during each of the last eight rounds of elimination racing, as well as low e.t. during the final two qualifying sessions at Indianapolis Raceway Park. Dixon also boasts Top Fuel's longest current opening round win streak (19) as he has not bowed out in the first round since Oct., 2000.
"The way our car is running right now- the team really seems to have a good groove going with maintenance and Dick LaHaie has his act together- so I think we have a pretty good package," said Dixon. "I guess if you are going to be peaking at a certain time, this is a good time for us to do what we are doing now, as opposed to last year when we peaked early. Other than Memphis (runner up finish after crashing in the final round), we didn't really do much."