Nearing the completion of his 10th season behind the wheel of his Don Prudhomme-owned Miller Lite dragster, Larry Dixon knows that you can¿t rest on past success if you want to succeed in the dog-eat-dog world of NHRA Top Fuel drag racing, where a few hundredths of-a-second can mean the difference between advancing to the next round of competition or seeing your race car parked on the trailer.


Of the eight NHRA events held in Sin City, the 35-time NHRA winner has reached the money round four times and been the last man standing flanked by the Vegas Showgirls three times. Dixon and the Miller Lite team look for a return visit to the final round at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway when the NHRA POWERade Series makes its final visit of the 2004 season in the Nevada desert, Oct. 28-31, for the fourth annual ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals.


After posting two victories in three final round appearances this season, the two-time NHRA Top Fuel champion and veteran crew chief Dick LaHaie are determined on finding the right tune-up that will put the Miller Lite dragster in championship contention again next season.


¿You can¿t rely on past performances going into a given event,¿ Dixon said. ¿I think (crew chief) Dick LaHaie and everybody on the team are trying to sort some things out so we have a better setup for next season. We¿re going to try a few things at the last two races. If they work, great, and if they don¿t work, you can knock them off your to-do list.


¿My job remains the same. I try and do my part to help the team no matter what. I¿ll go out and try to qualify the car and then if we can do that, win the race.¿


Winning races is something that Dixon has done quite well at the past three seasons, and given his success at The Strip, the Miller Lite driver should be one of the odds on favorites to collect the win Halloween Sunday in Sin City.


Larry Dixon¿s Las Vegas Memory


¿I think that when we had the Elvis-themed car at Las Vegas (April 2002) and we were able to win, probably stands out. We¿ve done pretty well there, but it was cool to win with the Presley family at the race.¿