THREE-TIME NHRA champion Larry Dixon will be reunited with Rapisarda Autosport International at the 32nd annual Dodge NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, Minnesota this weekend.
Dixon replaces usual pilot Wayne Newby who has raced at the last three rounds for RAI and has returned to his hometown Sydney for business reasons.
Dixon last raced for RAI at the 2016 Willowbank Winternationals where he defeated team-mate Wayne Newby in the final.
“Santo called and said they wanted to run at Maple Grove,” said Dixon. “I was flattered and honoured to be asked to race for the Rapisarda team again. Maple Grove is a great venue and I’ve won there in the past. It reminds me very much of Willowbank Raceway in Australia. This is a great time of the year to be running there, the cars are always fast and hopefully we will be one of them. “
The Indianapolis based Dixon is one of the most highly decorated top fuel racers in NHRA history with an impeccable record of 63 wins in a career dating back to 1995 will be driving the same car he raced on the NHRA tour in 2013 when he made his debut with Rapisarda Autosport International.
RAI’s 2016 American campaign got off to a rocky start after narrowly missing qualifying at the Indianapolis Nationals. Since then the RAI/Newby combo have qualified #12 at the Carolina Nationals in Charlotte, North Carolina where they recorded their best ever NHRA result when they knocked out two of the biggest names in the sport, Shawn Langdon and Steve Torrence, to advance to the semi-finals before going down to championship contender Doug Kalitta. In their last outing, at the Midwest Nationals in St.Louis, the team qualified superbly in 10th place then fell too fast femme Leah Pritchett in the first round.
“I’m looking forward to being part of the Rapisarda family for the weekend and want to do the best job possible. Qualifying well and getting some round wins would be great,” said Dixon.