NHRA POWERade Champ Larry Dixon hopes for success in Seattle KENT, WA. (July 22nd)- As the winner of six National events in 2003, Dixon enters the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals (July 25-27th), the second segment of the 'Western Swing', as the...
NHRA POWERade Champ Larry Dixon hopes for success in Seattle
KENT, WA. (July 22nd)- As the winner of six National events in 2003, Dixon enters the CARQUEST Auto Parts Nationals (July 25-27th), the second segment of the 'Western Swing', as the most successful driver of the season with nine races remaining.
With a lead of nearly 230 points in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel title chase, Miller Lite / Snake Racing driver, Larry Dixon is hoping to go where he's never gone before, the winner's circle at Pacific Raceway.
Fresh from the winner's circle at Bandimere Speedway in Denver, Dixon aims to go from one to the next at Pacific Raceway. The Don Prudhomme dragster has reached the semi-finals four times (97, 00, 01, 03) at Pacific Raceway and wants to see that come to an end, ending instead with a victory. Dixon's current success is a near carbon copy of last year. This point last year, the Miller Lite/Mac Tools dragster had been in ten final round appearances, racking up seven title wins (W-Pomona, W-Gainesville, W-Las Vegas, W-Bristol, W-Atlanta, W-Chicago, W-Columbus). Currently, Dixon has appeared in nine final rounds and has six wins (W-Pomona, W-Las Vegas, W-Atlanta, W-Topeka, W-Columbus, W-Denver). However, the one most important thing Dixon did not have last year was the Championship title and now that's changed.
In addition to the title, Dixon has many things that are not found on paper. They are not stats, not results, not records, but rather common knowledge. Dixon has a legendary crew chief. Regarded as one of the most intelligent men on the track, Dick LaHaie has the ability to win by making a dragster run a 4.7 ET a mile above sea level (W-Denver 03). Or in Columbus do battle with track temperatures exceeding 130-degrees, not only winning the event, but setting track speed records as well. Grab a thesaurus. Look up the word amazing; LaHaie is in there somewhere.
In addition to an incredible crew chief, Dixon is fortunate to have one of the most remarkable crews in the pits. Experience, trust and comradeship serving as the backbone to their momentum and success. The track curfew and light drizzle effected qualifying sessions last year at Pacific Raceway, resulting in only three chances to qualify. If it happens again this year, to Dixon it won't be a surprise. "At several races this year we've only had two or three qualifying sessions. We've had a lot of rain this year." Assistant crew chief Donnie Bender jokes about it, "If you want rain, just invite the NHRA to town."
Although it's known for rain, coffee and great bands, Seattle looks to have all but one this weekend. With blue skies and near 90-degree temperatures through out Western Washington, you can leave the umbrella at home and pack the sunscreen.
ESPN2 will air qualifying starting on Saturday from 8-10PM ET with final round coverage of the CARQUEST Nationals airing on Sunday, July27th from 4-6PM ET.