Sonoma: Larry Dixon preview

Larry Dixon: Driven to excellence. Miller Lite driver goes to the Oakland Raiders training camp. SONOMA, Ca. (July 29) - Miller Lite/Snake Racing Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon is driven to excellence and displays the same dedication and passion ...

Larry Dixon: Driven to excellence. Miller Lite driver goes to the Oakland Raiders training camp.

SONOMA, Ca. (July 29) - Miller Lite/Snake Racing Top Fuel driver Larry Dixon is driven to excellence and displays the same dedication and passion towards his profession, as does his favorite NFL team - the Oakland Raiders.

This Thursday, Dixon will get to live out a boyhood dream when he visits the Oakland Raiders Training Camp in Napa where he will tour the facilities and meet the coaches and players.

"I keep waiting to see Ricardo Montalban and Tatoo appear and welcome me to

"Fantasy Island" because this is a dream deal," said an excited Dixon. "I would have never thought that driving a race car would allow me the opportunity to do the things that I've been able to do. This is just one of them, and will definitely be one of the highlights of my year."

Dixon's attachment to Al Davis' legendary NFL powerhouse began at an early age, while he was living in Southern California.

"I grew up in Los Angeles when the Raiders came there in 1980. At the time, all we had were the Rams and I didn't like them. When the silver and black came to town that was my salvation. We've both moved on, but they're still my team."

The schedule calls for the Miller Lite driver to meet Raiders' Head Coach, Bill Callahan and one of Dixon's favorite players, Quarterback Rich Gannon after which he will be put through the paces, participating in a workout drill for the team. "Rich Gannon just makes things happen. That's kind of the Raiders style having a quarterback in there who can make things happen."

This week's visit to the Raider camp will establish a high point of the 2002 campaign for Larry Dixon, despite posting results on the race track that are the envy of his competitors. The 35 year-old California native is in the midst of a dream season, visiting the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel winner's circle seven times in 14 races and currently holds a strong lead of 97 points.

However, once Dixon leaves the Raiders camp, all of his attention will be on the matter at hand - Sunday's running of the NHRA Fram Autolite Nationals at the Infineon Raceway. His previous best finish is a final round appearance in 2000 and his best start was last year's Fram Autolite Nationals when he recorded a time of 4.592 seconds, 314.83 mph.

"I'm really looking forward to going back to Infineon Raceway now that they have finally have given us a new surface," said Dixon. "It used to have the shortest concrete racetrack on the tour so it will be nice to see it up to NHRA standards. I'm excited about heading out there."

-www.snakeracing.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon