Thursday, July 9, 2009
NHRA's Larry Dixon shoots for third straight win
Larry Dixon is riding a couple impressive streaks in the National Hot Rod Assn. top fuel division. He was won two events in a row and has made it to the semifinals in four straight events.
The Van Nuys High graduate enters this weekend’s races at Bandimere Speedway in Colorado as the second place driver in the top fuel standings and as the hottest driver in the division.
“From where we were when we left Bristol in May, these last four events have been really nice; a very stark contrast,” said Dixon, who drives for Al-Anabi racing. “I am not too caught up on streaks or anything like that; I’m just enjoying the moment.”
Dixon can pinpoint the moment, or at least the day, when his team started its incredible streak. It was right after the races at Bristol Dragway in Tennessee in May. Crew chief Jason McCulloch decided to make some drastic changes during a test in Atlanta and Dixon and his team have been nearly unbeatable since.
“What we’re doing right now is what exactly what Jason talked about after we left Bristol to go to Atlanta and test for two days,” Dixon said. “He said we would make a bunch of runs and we’d ‘get our groove on. You’re gonna start driving the car well, and we’re gonna start making the right calls. We’re gonna make a bunch of runs and go from there.’ The more information they get, the more chances they have to make better calls and be better. Collectively, that’s exactly what has happened, and Jason made the call back in May.”
Dixon is a two-time winner at Bandimere. He won in 2001 and 2003. Last year, he was the No. 3 qualifier and lost to Tony Schumacher in the semifinals.
“With the elevation at Denver, it’s hard to make good power and have good downforce because the air is so thin,” Dixon said. “We’ve raced there before when the air is corrected to what you’d find at 10,000 feet, so that makes it tough to make power and build downforce. It’s challenging to win in Denver, but that’s what makes it cool to win there.