DIXON HOPES FOR SIZZLING WEEKEND IN SCORCHING HOT CALIFORNIA SUN SONOMA, Calif. (July 25, 2006) Just as many other sports, the world's fastest motor sport, NHRA drag racing, is all about match-ups. If a team or player puts themselves in the...
DIXON HOPES FOR SIZZLING WEEKEND IN SCORCHING HOT CALIFORNIA SUN
SONOMA, Calif. (July 25, 2006) Just as many other sports, the world's fastest motor sport, NHRA drag racing, is all about match-ups. If a team or player puts themselves in the proper position, the odds of winning improve. In a sport where harnessing 8,000 horsepower can be tricky and races are often decided by thousandths of seconds, factors like qualifying position and lane choice can play a major role in a successful or short day at the race track.
For two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon, the winningest active Top Fuel driver with 38 career victories, the proper position for his Don "the Snake" Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster is a top four or five qualifying spot heading into final eliminations. Dixon and his Don Bender-led team hope to position themselves for a successful day of racing on July 30 when the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual July visit to Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., July 28-30, for the 19th annual FRAM-Autolite Nationals.
"We'll probably be running in the same type of weather that we've experienced over the past three races," Dixon said. "We've seem to have a better car in the heat. I'm hoping that we can improve upon what we did last weekend at Seattle. We made five runs, three of them were good and two weren't so good."
The 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year has long stressed the importance of qualifying his Miller Lite/Lucas Oil rail in the upper half of the 16-car field with a solid performance during qualifying. The Miller Lite dragster has qualified in the top half of the field at nine of the 14 NHRA races this season. Having battled hot summer temperatures at the last four events, teams will face much of the same warm, sunny conditions this weekend in Northern California.
"I'm sure that Donnie (Bender), Todd (Smith) and the team will take a hard look our data and try to make us a more competitive car at Sonoma," Dixon said. "If we get our car qualified better, we won't have to race such a strong car in the first round. Then, we'll be the stronger car."
The stronger car is usually the one in the best position entering eliminations, and many times, the last car standing at day's end. And that's a position that would suit Dixon just fine.