Rideless NHRA Champ Larry Dixon Making Plans For 2013

By Patrick Reynolds

Indianapolis, IN- Motorsports is a business. That fact sometimes leaves talented racecar drivers on the outside looking in if the proper deals and sponsorship agreements cannot be reached.

Three-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon currently finds himself in that position. But if it is up to him, the situation will be temporary.

Dixon has no ride for 2012 after finishing fourth in 2011 series standings and winning the title in 2010. Parting with his former team Al-Anabi Racing so late last year worked against Dixon in the timing department.

“Ten days before the season starts, I’ve got to look for a job,” said Dixon while visiting the Indianapolis Motor Speedway for the 500. “It’s the wrong time to be looking. You need to be doing that in the summertime. If you are looking for sponsorship, all the money is allocated months ahead of that. Quality cars, cars that are in the top ten, those seats just aren’t available.”

Dixon is moving forward with plans to become an NHRA owner and driver.

“Right now I am just really (focusing) on putting all the pieces in place to be able to get back out and compete in 2013 for a Full Throttle championship in the NHRA. Right now my plan is to own and drive,” Dixon said.

He reflected on his current situation while anticipating his future. Said Dixon, “For me, I kind of stepped back and said ‘You know what, this (parting with Al-Anabi) probably happened for a reason.’ And that reason would probably be the ownership and go on to that side. As opposed to just hopping in another car and getting back out there and race.”

“I want to put a program together and have all the people in place and have a car that has my name on it and to be able to go out there and compete. So that is the motivating factor for me and that’s really got my eye on the prize,” Dixon said.

Dressed in a golf-style shirt and pressed slacks instead of Nomex, he appeared ready to step into a boardroom and make a sponsorship deal.

“I’m 45 years old, so I’m not a kid. It’s time. I’ve got some business here (Indianapolis) in town. I worked for Don Prudhomme for such a long time and watched how he ran the business and did it all. That’s something I think I can do. I can put a quality car on the track and contend for championships and know I can sell product, so that’s what I want to do,” Dixon said.

Dixon admitted being a fan of Indy and a competitive drag racer at heart all at the same time.

Dixon said, “I think if you can mix business with pleasure that is the perfect world. For me in motorsports if it makes noise I’m into it.”

(Patrick Reynolds is a former professional NASCAR team mechanic who hosts Motor Week LIVE! on RacersReunion Radio Mondays at 7pm ET/ 4pm PT)

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