Championship Drag Racing

NHRA Nationals
Las Vegas, NV
(April 6-9)

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Driver Profile
Larry Dixon
Rapisarda Racing dragster

Dixon eager to return to familiar winner’s circle

Las Vegas, prerace: Larry Dixon may be 39-years-old, a youngster by NHRA drag racing standards, but the veteran driver has been piloting Don “the Snake” Prudhomme’s Miller Lite dragster for more than 11 seasons. Consequently, the two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion (2002-03) and veteran of the Top Fuel wars is accustomed to the roller coaster ride that is NHRA drag racing.

Dixon and his Don Bender-led Miller Lite team have yet to toast an ice cold Miller Lite in the winner’s circle this season, but the 38-time NHRA winner enters the seventh annual Nationals, April 6-9 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, ranked second in the Top Fuel standings. If there is ever a get-healthy track for Dixon, it’s The Strip at LVMS. Dixon has advanced his Miller-backed rail to the final round of the spring Las Vegas event the past four seasons with three victories to his credit.

Since its introduction to NHRA drag racing in 2000, the decorated racer has scored four wins at the multipurpose racing facility, including last April’s triumph which was victory No. 100 for Prudhomme. The Snake has added three more wins to that total and Dixon sits just one victory shy of tying legend Kenny Bernstein for second place on the all-time Top Fuel win list with 39 career victories.

“We’ve tested twice at Vegas before the season and we’ve run well there in the past, so I’m confident that we can go in there and run well,” Dixon said. “I also think it’s important that we’ve already been on that track with the new tire.”

While some teams have struggled to adapt to the 2420 Goodyear tire, Bender and the Miller Lite team have made a smooth transition to the new tread, posting consistent 4.5-second elapsed times since the tire was mandated at the Gainesville, Fla. event two races ago. Even though they haven’t had the race day results they’ve been looking for, Dixon and company have remained consistent enough to earn the second most points in the Top Fuel category. With a touch of good fortune added to the consistent mix, four consecutive win lights aren’t far off for the Miller Lite dragster.

“I’ve got a great team, a great car, everything it takes to be able to win,” Dixon said. “Now, we just have to go out there and get it done. Dick LaHaie (former crew chief) used to say that if you’re tired of losing, then you’d better do something about it. Well, I’m going to do something about it.”


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