* Larry Dixon is one of three Top Fuel drivers who have clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 Playoffs. The NHRA playoffs begin Sept. 17-20 at the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. A total of 10 drivers will...
* Larry Dixon is one of three Top Fuel drivers who have clinched a spot in the Countdown to 1 Playoffs. The NHRA playoffs begin Sept. 17-20 at the second annual NHRA Carolinas Nationals at zMAX Dragway in Concord, N.C. A total of 10 drivers will compete for the 2009 NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel championship.
* Dixon is third in the NHRA Full Throttle Top Fuel point standings; he trails second place by 33 points and is 170 points out of first place. Dixon has advanced to at least the semifinals in seven of the 14 races this season, including three of the last five.
* Last weekend in Seattle, Dixon was the No. 1 qualifier; he defeated Joe Hartley before losing to Tony Schumacher in the second round of eliminations. It was Dixon's fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season and the 35th of his career. Dixon has four wins this season visiting victory circle in Gainesville, Fla., Topeka, Kan., Englishtown, N.J. and Norwalk, Ohio.
* One year ago in Sonoma, Dixon was the No. 9 qualifier; he defeated Bob Vandergriff before losing to Antron Brown in the second round of eliminations. Dixon won the 2003 race at Infineon Raceway.
* Dixon won the NHRA Top Fuel championship in 2002 and '03. He is currently third on the NHRA's all-time Top Fuel winner's list with 47 victories. Joe Amato is in second place with 52 wins; Tony Schumacher tops the list with 59 wins. Dixon is in ninth place on the NHRA's all-time career victories list; he trails eighth-place Don Prudhomme by just two wins. Dixon was the 1995 NHRA Rookie of the Year.
Dixon prior to Sonoma:
"The consolation prize that came out of Seattle is that we clinched a spot on the playoffs. We all thought we'd be there, but knowing you have a spot is much nicer. Now it's all about getting in the best position we can for the playoffs to help our championship effort. First place is not out of the question, but right now, it's pretty far out of sight. Antron's (points leader Antron Brown) team really opened up a big lead on us in the last couple of races so we just have to go out there, do our best, try to win some races and see where we end up.
"I always look forward to racing in Sonoma because it's just nice to be back in California. Sonoma is probably as close as we get to Alan's home town so he will have lots of friends and family there, and he will want our team to do as well as we can. Who wants to argue with that? The best way to make up points is win races, so we'll be trying to do that this week. Antron will be trying to complete the sweep, but there will be 15 other cars trying to prevent the sweep; we're one of them."