Larry Dixon & Al Anabi. Out of the gate, the Qatar Top Fueler is the favorite!
Larry Dixon has earned the right to be called Champion. Twice! Winning the NHRA Top Fuel Championships back to back in 2002/2003 seemed like a long time ago for one of the nicest guy’s in all of racing. But life is funny like that, and through some amazing circumstances that resulted in the “end” of his long time association with legendary NHRA driver, owner, and entrepeneur Don “The Snake” Prudhomme, and his rebirth with the first NHRA race team owned by a Prince, Sheik, and a COUNTRY , Qatar! And at the first NHRA race of 2010 , Larry Dixon put himself, as well as Team Al Anabi Racing clearly in the conversation for a Top Fuel Championship! And the scary part is he made it look easy! Oh, and there’s also this guy named Alan Johnson, Co team owner that is pulling double duty as a crew chief! Alan Johnson Racing /Al Anabi Racing is both loved, and hated by some of the competitors that have to ATTEMPT to match the massive budget that has been afforded by the Sheik! But fan’s of Both Larry Dixon and Funny Car driver Del Worsham have lots to be excited about this year, and for many more moving forward!
Al Anabi Racing is the NHRA equivalent of the Dallas Cowboys or New York Yankees in terms of personnel, budget, equipment, and overall extravagance! With the exception of the boisterous Owner/GM combination. HH Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani is a true race FAN first and foremost, as well as a member of the ruling family of Qatar! And unlike Jerry Jones or the new BOSS ”Steinbrenner-Light“, the Sheik keeps a low profile, and allows the team he hired…. to do there job’s without creating a side show! And what a “Show” Al Anabi and Alan Johnson Racing is putting together! HH too has watched the brilliance that IS Alan Johnson over the years, so when the time came for the Shiek to build his team, he started with the guy that I personally feel is the greatest crew chief/tuner in the history of drag racing, Alan Johnson! But on the track for the 50th Annual Kragen O Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals presented by “Valvoline” , it was all Larry Dixon in the public eye. And Dixon didn’t blink. And at the end of a near perfect weekend in Southern California Larry Dixon had won the first Top Fuel race of the year, at the most famous NHRA event on the schedule. I was fortunate to have been in the Kodak Theatre in Hollywood as Larry Dixon hoisted his championship hardware at the NHRA awards ceremonies in 02,and 03 and vividly remember the pride, and humility, AND the confidence he called upon to win those titles. And even day’s before the 2010 season got underway….. I saw that same Larry Dixon. Poised, prepared, and confident. All the while showing the class, and blue collar work ethic that earned him his shot in the sport he loves and respects. And why wouldn’t he? He’s got the best of everything a racer could want. And THAT…is not good news for the rest of the NHRA Top Fuel Field. I know it’s a long season, but I like what I am seeing from my favorite to win the entire thing in 2010.
What do you think? Am I right? Or did I just red light?
Gordon “Lug Nutzz” Stewart