Larry Dixon, a three-time NHRA Top Fuel world champion, is finishing up his three-race stint driving the Dote Racing Top Fuel dragster at Reading, Pa., Thursday through Sunday.
And, Dixon has enjoyed his return to the driver’s seat.
“It has been real nice from that standpoint,” said Dixon about getting back behind the wheel. “I really appreciate the Dotes for giving me the opportunity to go out there and run those three events with them and for them.”
Back in early September, Dixon signed on to drive for Dote Racing at Charlotte (Sept. 14-16), St. Louis (Sept. 28-30) and Reading. Dixon replaced Hillary Will at Dote Racing.
At Charlotte, Dixon qualified No. 11 and lost in the first round to Morgan Lucas. Last Sunday at St. Louis, Dixon was No. 10 on the qualifying ladder and was upended by Khalid alBalooshi of Al-Anabi Racing in the opening round.
“They (the Dotes) use a Murf McKinney car, and that’s probably what I spent 10 years of my career in,” Dixon said. “So, it was just like old times. Climbing back in the car felt real nice.”
Prior to Charlotte and St. Louis, the last time Dixon was behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster was at the 2011 NHRA Auto Club Finals on Nov. 13 when he lost in the semifinals to Tony Schumacher in Pomona, Calif. Dixon was driving for Al-Anabi Racing.
Alan Johnson Racing and Dixon agreed to a mutual separation Dec. 12, 2011. Alan Johnson Racing manages the two-car Top Fuel operation of the Al-Anabi Racing Team.
“So far the most challenging thing is trying to qualify in the top half of the field,” Dixon said. “Doug Kuch (Dote Racing’s crew chief) and the Dotes have a lot of very nice equipment and they are a very talented team and we are going to try and get some rounds this weekend.”
Dixon has 62 national event Top Fuel victories, including wins at Maple Grove Raceway in Reading in 2009 and 2010.
“I’m looking forward to going there,” Dixon said. “I watched my dad (Larry Dixon Sr.) race there in the 1970s, so I have been going to that race track for an awful long time. With them moving Maple Grove into October, from September it certainly, when the weather permits it is definitely a fast track for all the categories. From a racing fan’s standpoint it is exciting to go to and watch all that go down and hopefully be a part of it.”
Following this weekend, Dixon will continue trying to establish his own Top Fuel team, Larry Dixon Racing.
“It is still a work in progress,” Dixon said. “As of right now, I’m going to Las Vegas (Oct. 25-28) and Pomona (Nov. 8-11) as a racing fan. Then, I am working my tail off away from the driver’s seat to try and get funding to be back out there racing next season.”
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