DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM HOPE TO SHINE AT HOT TOPEKA RACE TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2006) -- Larry Dixon and Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team have long been known as one of the elite teams in NHRA's Top Fuel ranks, and...
DIXON AND MILLER LITE TEAM HOPE TO SHINE AT HOT TOPEKA RACE
TOPEKA, Kan. (May 23, 2006) -- Larry Dixon and Don "the Snake" Prudhomme's Miller Lite Top Fuel team have long been known as one of the elite teams in NHRA's Top Fuel ranks, and over the past five or six seasons have developed the reputation for being the team to beat in the warm, sunny conditions that the NHRA teams must battle once the season enters the summer months.
Well, the two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (2002-03) and his Don Bender-led Miller Lite/Lucas Oil team will have the opportunity to live up to that reputation as the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series makes its annual visit to Kansas, May 25-28, for the 18th annual O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. The NHRA teams have experienced a hot race track a few times this season, but nothing like what's in store this weekend in The Sunflower State. Mother Nature will test drag racing's best at Heartland Park with the weather forecast calling for lots of sun and temperatures reaching into the 90-degree range. This creates a hot, sticky track surface and conditions in which the teams have yet to experience with the 2420 Goodyear tire.
"It'll be a major curve to the teams with this tire," Dixon said. "This tire isn't as forgiving in the heat. We've seen cool weather with exception of a few races where it got pretty warm. We have to go in there and worry about our team and then see where everyone else is at."
Dixon, a 38-time winner and the 2003 Top Fuel winner at Heartland Park, is well versed in competing in all varieties of race conditions now in his 12th season behind the wheel of his Miller-backed rail, and that veteran driving savvy might play a vital role in the team's success this weekend. Coming off of consecutive semifinal appearances at the Atlanta and Columbus races, Dixon and the Miller Lite/Summit Racing team seemed poised to make their first visit to the money round this season. Dixon's Bender-tun! ed dragster posted six impressive 4.5-second pass last weekend at National Trail Raceway.
"I think that over the past two or three races we've had a really good car," Dixon said. "For one reason or another, we haven't been able to close the deal. We're going to Topeka to see if we can continue to build on what we're working on."
LARRY DIXON TOPEKA NOTES
* Heartland Park Topeka is one of 19 current NHRA POWERade Series tracks in which Dixon has scored at least one victory. His 2003 win at Heartland Park was the 29th victory of his career.
* Dixon is four-time finalist at Heartland Park (2001-03, '05).
* Last season, Dixon and teammate Tommy Johnson Jr. both advanced to the final round of the Topeka race.
* Dixon has qualified No. 1 twice at Topeka (2002-03).
* In 14 career races at Heartland Park, Dixon has qualified in the lower half of the 16-car field just four times.