SEARS Point: Dixon wants first win at track

SONOMA, CA (Aug. 2) - Born and raised in Southern California, Larry Dixon has always considered the Golden State his home. As a child he watched his father race at Sears Point Raceway and years later he enjoyed watching Don "The Snake" ...

SONOMA, CA (Aug. 2) - Born and raised in Southern California, Larry Dixon has always considered the Golden State his home. As a child he watched his father race at Sears Point Raceway and years later he enjoyed watching Don "The Snake" Prudhomme visit Sonoma's Winner's Circle as a member of his crew in 1989 and 1992.

But since getting behind the wheel himself in 1995, not only has Dixon not yet made it to Victory Lane, he has yet to even see the win lights illuminate on his side of the track, posting five first round finishes in his five years of competition in Northern California. Dixon hopes that will all change this season as he enters this weekend's 13th Annual Autolite Nationals (Aug. 4-6) with former NHRA Winston Champ (1987) Dick LaHaie tuning the Miller Lite Dragster-a task that LaHaie has proven qualified for after tuning Scott Kalitta to the top fuel title at Sonoma in 1994.

"California races have always seemed like having home court advantage to me, so to not have won a single round of racing at Sears Point is downright depressing," said Dixon.

"Snake has won there, (Snake Racing teammate) Ron Capps has won there (1997), so that gives me even more reason to want to do well. After our semifinal finish at Denver, LaHaie really looked over our engine and clutch combination and tested it thoroughly to find our lack of performance. Maybe our finish at Seattle last week didn't show it, but we picked up the pace by qualifying better than we have at the last three or four races and we also set low E.T (4.63) and top speed (312.64 mph) of the weekend. With LaHaie working on the tune up, our car can keep running better and with all things being equal, we should hold our own this weekend."

Despite his lack of success at Sonoma, Dixon does not feel there is any special reason for his disappointing performances. "Do I feel like I am jinxed at this track or that I have a monkey on my back? No. I haven't really thought about it that much. I like Sears Point, I like going to California. For one reason or another I just have not run well there. Snake has won there in the past and I have some real good memories of that track. We just have to do better than we have in the past and having Dick LaHaie on board should make that a given."

<pre> Larry Dixon's Career Results in Sonoma

Year Event Qual. Finish & Winning Driver 1995 Autolite Nationals No. 9 First round- M. Dunn 1996 Autolite Nationals No. 12 First round-S. Anderson 1997 Autolite Nationals No. 13 First round-S. Kalitta 1998 Autolite Nationals No. 7 First round-D. Grubnic 1999 Autolite Nationals No. 14 First round-G. Scelzi

2000 NHRA Winston Top Fuel Point Standings

1. Gary Scelzi 1147 - - - 2. Tony Schumacher 1024 123 out 3. LARRY DIXON 994 153 out 4. Joe Amato 859 288 out 5. Kenny Bernstein 857 290 out 6. Doug Kalitta 681 466 out 7. Cory McClenathan 670 477 out 8. Doug Herbert 537 610 out 9. David Grubnic 517 630 out 10. Don Lampus 512 635 out

Larry Dixon & Don Prudhomme To Meet Bay Area Drag Race Fans Larry Dixon will be joined by team owner and Hall of Fame driver Don "Snake" Prudhomme, as the two NHRA stars meet with drag racing fans before this weekend's 13th Annual Autolite Nationals. Below is the tentative appearance schedule:

Date & Time Location Thur, 8/3 7-9 p.m. The Cantina, 528 4th Street, Santa Rosa, CA. Phone-(707) 523-3663, Dixon & Prudhomme to sign auto-graphs, showcar, digital glassware & Miller Lite Girls on hand.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Larry Dixon , Kenny Bernstein , Ron Capps , Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Gary Scelzi , Doug Kalitta , David Grubnic , Cory McClenathan , Scott Kalitta , Don Prudhomme , Dick LaHaie , Don Lampus