Dixon falls short of a winning day
Reading, Sunday: Larry Dixon has raced in 263 professional Top Fuel events throughout his two-time NHRA championship winning career. At the wheel of the Miller Lite dragster, Dixon has earned 417 round wins en route to 38 career victories in 71 final round appearances.
No question about it, the Don Prudhomme-owned team has a history of winning. In all that time – more than a decade of competitive performances – Dixon has failed to qualify just six times. Each of those times, he has come back to the next race qualified well. Each of those times, however, he has suffered a first round loss the next time out.
This weekend was no different. The team posted a DNQ last weekend in Dallas and bounced back to record a solid qualifying pass of 4.541-seconds at 327.74 mph for the No. 6 spot. Sunday, however, wasn't as solid as history repeated itself once more. The car smoked the tires early and didn't recover in a first round matchup against Melanie Troxel at the 22nd annual Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.
Dixon finished with a 10.245 pass at 96.29, falling short against Troxel's 4.576 at 320.81 in the Skull Gear dragster.
"The important thing is that we came back, ran a good number to get qualified and got Dallas out of our heads," Dixon said. "The car shook at the starting line and I got back in it and it just smoked the tires again. Our team has shown some good performance numbers in the last few races and I'm just excited because I think we can break out and get in the win column anytime now."
Dixon has posted two runner-up finishes at Maple Grove Raceway (2005, 1995) but now is focused on moving on to the next event. The NHRA's next stop is the Torco Racing Fuels Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park in Richmond, Va., where Dixon is the defending champion. Dixon beat Kenny Bernstein in the 2000 final round there, the last time the NHRA stopped in Richmond.
"I'm excited we're going back to Richmond," Dixon said. "I was disappointed that race went off the schedule. It's a nice track with great race fans that are really supportive of drag racing. I'm looking forward to packing up and getting there."
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