DIXON: Heading To A Land Down Under

Larry Dixon is on his way to Australia to compete in the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Expreme Classic at Willowbank Raceway. (Ron Lewis Photo)

I’m on my way to the great Down Under right now. So I thought I would catch up with everyone.

This trip should be exciting for me and my family as well as the Rapisarda Autosport Int’l team. To be honest, I have only used my passport once in my life. We went to Qatar for a promotion with Al-Anabi team. So we were anxious to get on the plane and get to Australia.

In first four days or so, our team will gather in Sydney to work on the team’s other Top Fuel dragster that is based there. We’ll collect the parts we need and prepare the car for the Santo’s Cranes Super 3 Expreme Classic at Willowbank Raceway in eastern Australia March 29-30. The race is important to the Rapisardi family since it is tribute to Louie Rapisarda, the Top Fuel driver who was killed in a 1990 accident.

If we win the race, we’ll take home the Louie Rapisarda Top Fuel Trophy. Needless to say, our team wants that honor.

Since my last blog, we have competed in three NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series races with our new team. It was definitely a thrash to get ready for Pomona and Phoenix, but we made it and we are better off for it. We had to scramble with just about six weeks to prepare for the Winternationals.

When we rolled through the Los Angeles County Fairgrounds gates, we had not made one run with the Rapisarda Top Fuel dragster. So it was going to be a roll of the dice in qualifying. But I had plenty of confidence in Lee Beard and the Rapisarda kids, Santo Jr., and Santino, and our crew. Plus we had to run the 2012 setup right as we are waiting to get the new 2013 engine parts.

Lee had said all along that we would use Pomona and Phoenix as a test. And we had five runs that were solid and didn’t spin the tires. We ended up losing to the current Top Fuel champ, Antron Brown, in a close first round race. But we were happy with the progress in our first race and runs of the year. I was able to head to Las Vegas for a motorsports promotion before the Phoenix race. It was a great time and I worked with Arie Luyendyk Jr. I invited Arie to our Phoenix event since he lives down the street.

That was funny. Since the Bachelor TV Show, Arie seems to get mobbed wherever he goes. And that was case at Firebird Raceway, too. It was amazing to see how he has this incredible following now. Reality TV can really make people famous. But I think Arie had a good time at the Phoenix race and he is a good guy.

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