Saturday morning in southern
California. Morning cartoons, waffles with Log Cabin syrup, milk
and the morning paper. Maybe later mow the lawn and take the
family for a little drive. Typical family. But not this family.
Having worked all week, this is where their fun starts. This
family of three is up early and in a long line to enter a race.
They have done this almost every weekend of their adult lives.
The young son curled up on the front seat, with his head on moms
lap. Dad rests his hand on the boy's leg.
The Book of History is opened
and the Pen of Records will record the events of the next two
days. One name will top the events and start a new page of legendary
victories. The name: Larry Dixon Sr.
Standing in the staging area
at Lions Drag strip with his close friend George, Larry watches
as the diggers drive around behind them off the rollers and prepare
for a burn out and qualification run.
Larry: "Who are you going
I'll say Carl
Olsen, for sure."
Larry: "You sure? Alright
I'll take Ruth; I think Jerry can take lower E.T."
George: "I'll put a buck
on it; Carl will have a lower E.T. than Jerry Ruth."
Larry: "Bitchin', easy money,
you gota' bet."
The two top fuelers staged for
the early morning qualifying runs. Jerry Ruth on the right and
Carl Olsen driving the Ewell, Bell & Olsen dragster on the
left. Green! Both launched forward smoking the tires. The roar
faded as they cleared the lights for the times. Ruth 7.74 and
Larry: "Holy shit! How did
you know Olsen would take him?"
George laughing: "I am The
Stone Age Man! It's all in the sound, a sharp sound. Olsen had
him at the burn out, Larry. The ground shook and it sounded right.
Look at the track"
Larry: "Bitchin' run
Just then Larry Sutton approached
and announces, "Dixon! You're up soon, Danny and Jerry are
looking for ya." Larry pats George on the back, "Thanks
man, gota' go Hutch."
George: "Larry, what lane
Larry: "Left lane, it's
hot and sticky right about there." As he points to the spot.
George: "That a boy Larry,
me too. I can smell a low E.T. coming up."
Larry is all smiles, "Cool
Larry hurries off to join the crew of the Howard Cam Rattler.
The crew is one of the best in the business. With owners Danny
and Tony Porsche, motor man Jerry Johansen and Roy Miersch, Paul
Armstrong and Raymond Masco as crew members, these guys are on
the hot track and the Rattler is running fast and consistent
with its 392 Chrysler hemi.
Larry joined up with them not
long ago and it is a winning combination.
Sutton turned to George, puts
his arm over his shoulder and asks, "So tell me, what you
bring today, The Stone Age Man, Rat Trap or that US Turbine 1?
Maybe you brought all three."
George smiles and said, "No
not today, I am here to see Dixon drive that Howard Cam Rattler.
That son-of-a-bitch is fast!"
Sutton: "Didn't you beat
the Rattler back in Vegas?"
George: "That was with Rick
Ramsey driving the Rattler, It was close man."
Sutton: "I heard it was
one helluva show, a great race."
George: "Thanks to Ed Pink
and Larry, it was great fun to work with those guys. Now I am
here for Larry."
Just then Larry roars up in the
Howard Cam Rattler followed by Roy and Jerry on foot. Waaaap!
Ruuup! Rattt rattt rattt
the great serpent shakes the ground
and gets the attention of all around.
Jerry walks up to his engine
for a final listen. Waaaap! I join George in the staging area
to watch the Rattler. George leans close to me and says; "You
hear that? That is crisp. Look at the flames, short, even and
blue in color, it's gone to thunder I tell ya. Larry's fast out
of the gate, he's good, very good. Just watch him."
Larry stages the last light and
holds still. Larry is all business; his timing is tack sharp.
Waaaap! The Rattler jumps forward
with a hint of smoke and Larry takes it straight down the middle
to the end, textbook run. E.T. 7.04 The Lions track announcer
states that Larry Dixon has the Low E.T. of the meet. George
looks at me with great satisfaction. He knows Larry has the right
stuff, the right ride and all day to do his thing.
Larry Dixon Sr. and his
Fireside Inn Roadster AA/FMR
Although Larry is an accomplished
motor man, and had driven his own dragster like the beautiful
and famous Fireside Inn Roadster and the Smirnoff AA/FD for Darryl
Greenamyer. He knows when to not mess with a top-notch crew like
Danny and Tony Porsche, Jerry Johansen and Roy, Paul and Raymond.
The Howard Cam Rattler has always been a top contender and has
had it share of talented drivers. Larry works at Ed Pink Racing
Engines, so Larry knows what a ground shaking fire breathing
top fuel engine should behave like. Ed Pink had taught Larry
the signs to read and what to look for. He went to school with
Larry likes the set up. It allows
Larry to be Larry, the happy, joking funny man at the races.
That's why he's in it, for the fun. Anyone who knows Larry Dixon
knows he is a humble, honest gentleman. If you're his friend,
that's all you'll ever need. He is easy to spot, he is the one
always smiling holding the little kid in his arms, Larry Jr.
He loves his son and always had him in the dragster, in the pits,
on his shoulder or in the winners circle with him.
With Larry's low E.T. at 7.04,
it was followed by The Ridge Route Terror's James Warren at 7.06,
Der Wienerschnitzel's Jim Nicoll at 7.12, Beaver Brothers &
Clark with Mike Snively at 7.20, Doss Bros & Brooks at 7.26,
Ewell, Bell & Olsen with Carl Olsen at 7.27, Tom McEwen at
7.30, Last years 'Perpetual Motion' champ Abbott Bros. &
Lee at 7.31, and Jerry Ruth at 7.74 Larry, George and I went
up into the bridge tower to see C.J. Hart. They asked for the
line up for elimination's. Who was up against whom? A strategy
meeting of the pros. Larry starts: "Nicoll, he's running
hot, he'll be the one to beat. Maybe Carl Olsen? What's he running
George: Jim? Yea
up fast at the top end. Warren and those guys come to town, drive
past everyone, take the gold and leave heading north. You got
to watch out for him. Olsen is tuned it right. See him off the
line, his clutch is just right, no smoke, just grip and go. Unless
Warren takes him out, watch those Ridge Route boys."
Larry: "Warren, Nicoll,
Snively, Ruth, McEwen
George: "I'll go with Dixon
and the Rattler!"
Larry: Grinning wide and looking
humbled, he simply says, "Bitchin' Hutch."
The first elimination round results
had some surprises. Larry took Doss with a 7.01~ 216.34 to 7.36,
Nicolls took McEwen with 6.92 ~ 211.76 (Low ET of the race) to
McEwen's 7.21, Carl Olsen's close victory over James Warren who
blew a blower belt at the top end with 7.25 ~ 219.51 to Warrens
7.33, Mike Snively stomped all over Joe Lee with a 7.18~ 220.04
to 7.34 The air filled with spent fuel, like the aftermath smell
of a battlefield. It may have been February but it was warm to
hot. Hey this is L.A. weather! The pits were busy with teams
tooling up for round two. The second chancer's who lost the first
round worked much harder to save some face.
Again Larry, George and I leaned
against the fence to watch round two of the second chancer's
try at victory. First up, Warren, Coburn and Miller vs. Abbott
Larry: "So Todd, test your
skills, who for the win?"
Pink, does Abbott & Lee run a Pink engine?"
George: "No. A Pink engine
has a high idle, crisp sound, and it shakes the earth at the
top end. You'd know it's an Ed Pink engine by its sound."
Todd: "Well I always liked
Warren, Coburn and Miller, it's a beautiful car. I'll go with
the Ridge Route Terror."
Larry: "They lost a blower
belt in the last run, could happen again."
Todd: "What? Twice in a
their just running really strong."
Coming off the rollers the two
combatants staged, flames high rpm's up
blower belt blew off the Abbott & Lee dragster near the staging
lane and shut down to a slow roll. Mean while James Warren rocketed
down track and boom
blew off its blower belt for a second
time running an 8.39 E.T.
I looked at Larry in amazement,
how did he know? He just grinned and looked at George who remarked,
"I ain't saying nothing." Larry's laugh started slow
and grew into a typical Dixon howl. Pat walked up with Larry
Jr. in tow.
Pat: "What's he laughing
at?" Realizing her redundant question, she ended with, "Let's
get something to eat before you race again." Larry Jr. was
switched to his Dads waiting arms and they walked to the concession
stand. I could here Larry Jr. say, "Did you win Daddy?"
Larry Sr. responded, "Not yet Big Boy."
Larry's own top fueler, the Fireside
Inn Roadster, sponsored by the Fireside Inn Restaurant, had a
beautiful full body, nose to chute. It was one of those show
cars that crowds of fans would gather around to see. Like the
Beebe & Mulligan, Smirnoff, Stellings & Tapia, Keeling
& Clayton, Der Weinerschnitzel and my favorite, The Stone
Larry loved the fun of drag racing.
He was the essential talented garage boy who just loved to tinker
with and race cars. Larry always helped out any other driver
if they need things. Larry said he never lost tools, he kept
gaining tools. He would find them everywhere. Once he found a
very expensive torque wrench along the push road. When he overheard
someone say they wish they had a torque wrench, he gave them
the one he found. At other times Larry gave tires or fuel to
other needy teams. It has been said that it was easy to find
Larry Dixon Sr. at the races, even blindfolded, just follow the
laughter and there he is. Like I said, if Larry was your friend,
you'd never need anything else. There are several icons of the
good-old-days of racing; Larry Dixon Sr. is very near the top.
The beautiful Ewell-Bell-Olsen
AA/FD driven by Carl Olsen
Round two had Carl Olsen vs.
Mike Snively. The cars were roller on to the Lions Roller Starters.
Mike started first and glided off to his burnout followed by
Carl. These two professionals were going to have a close one.
Both running strong and loud. Jack Ewell stood close by Carl.
They staged and waited for the green. Waaaap Carl got Mike at
the green while Mike Snively had some trouble and coasted to
the end saving his engine at 128.20 mph. Carl clocked a 192.30
saving his for the final.
Next had Dixon and Nicoll. Jim
Nicoll's Der Weinerschnitzel has for a long time been a winning
force. Plus Jim was a great sport and loved to play up the show
racing George Hutcheson and the US Turbine 1. Jim Nicoll was
quick out of the gate, but so was Larry. This would be a tough
one to call. The rumble and roar of these two beasts had fans
up on their feet and press the fence to see. The ground shook
around them. The two rolled to pre-stage light - yellow! Nicoll
rolled next to yellow and held. Dixon mastered the staging lights
and knew how to get that advantage at the staged light, yellow
and held. Down came the lights, up the Rpm's -green Waaaap!!
Nicolls pulled the wheels up and got all crossed up, Larry's
heavy leg pushed the Howard Cam Rattler, and the bend of the
frame had all the power to the big M&H Racemasters slicks
giving Larry a fast 6.95 ~ 217.91 at the top end. Larry always
took it to the lights, for the fans, that's what they came to
see. Luck rarely strikes twice and Larry knew he was in for a
hard final with the Ewell, Bell & Olsen with Carl Olsen at
Carl Olsen driving the "Ewell-Bell-Olsen"
AA/FD said, "I started driving this car in 1968, when Jack
Ewell broke his leg in a mini-bike accident. By the time his
leg healed, I'd traded my Jr. Fuel Dragster to Bill Stecker for
his 1/3 interest in the TF car, and everyone agreed that I should
continue to drive it. After the trade, it was re-named Ewell-Bell
& Olsen." (source-wdifl.com). It had a late model hemi
engine and was always a fan favorite. In 1969 the car had a full
length body and it was one of the best looking around.
George and I ran into Larry, Pat and Larry Jr. in the pit area.
When Larry saw us his smile took over his worried thoughts. Larry
always on, started with, "Holy shit, you see Nicolls cross
up? I just hit it and hoped he didn't run up behind me at the
Todd: "You kiddin', you
ran 6.95 and you didn't blow your belt! You ran so fast you were
George: "Now you got Olsen.
Jack has it running fast, it sounds great. You'll have to beat
Carl's driving. Out of the gate Larry, stay out ahead and don't
let your foot up until you pull the chute. He'll be hard to beat,
but you got the Howard Cam team."
Larry: "Its fun, I love
this stuff, whoever wins
bitchin' fun." His smile said
it all, its fun. He was your basic hard core racing fan. Big
kid having fun.
Every time I went to the straight
track I had the traditional late night, pre-final hotdogs. Right
about 9 PM the hotdogs had been cooking all day long, crispy
on the outside, juicy on the inside. The buns are warm; get some
of the last chopped onions and some brown mustard. With that
and a Pepsi I was set for the night. Didn't say it tasted great,
but the tradition was memorable. Like popcorn at the movies.
Gota' be done. The concession stand was a 'everybody zone'. You
could see anyone step up and get something. I met John Mulligan
there, stood behind Tom McEwen in line, and heard another well
known driver arguing with his wife about some cute female fan.
Oh boy! God bless those who cooked all day in less than sanitary
conditions with bare hands and no hair nets. The deep fry oil
was rarely changed, the wipe rag was never replaced, and I'd
never complain. Sometimes the change back wasn't quit right,
but I counted it as a silent tip. Aaaah
I miss those 9 PM
Larry Dixon Sr. at Lions
with The Howard Cam Rattler
The time had come, Larry Sutton
signaled for the two diggers to mount the rollers. Dixon and
the Rattler team rolled up and got the Rattler breathing fire.
It slithered to the left lane and did a smokey burnout. The Ewell-Bell-Olsen
AA/FD fired up and rolled off. As Dixon was being pushed back
to the staging area, Jack Ewell ran up to see what Carl was frantically
George said out loud, "Ohhh
Larry, you lucky son-of-a-gun, some things wrong with the oil
pressure." Larry staged the Rattler, and waited. Jack Ewell
had Carl shut down the big Chrysler Hemi, having no oil pressure.
Larry Sutton signaled Dixon to final stage and go. I swear I
could hear Larry Dixon yelling for joy through his mask and helmet.
On the green Dixon let the Rattler loose and it thundered with
hellfire. The M&H Racemaster slicks gripped hard all the
way down through the end lights with a 7.01 at 210.28 mph. Larry
never disappoints the fans. Lions 'Perpetual Motion' Phase II
was now written into the history books. Name: Larry Dixon Sr.
When Larry and the Howard Cam
Rattler team rolled back into the pits, Larry yelled out, "Stone
Age Man! Am I one lucky-son-of-a-bitch! I tell ya!"
George: "I guess so. But you've run real hard all day Larry.
Look you run a 6.95 earlier and finished with a 7.01. That's
you Larry, you did that. You could have beaten them tonight.
Larry: "That real nice of
ya Hutch, I appreciate that. Say, why don't you go get that Stone
Age Man fueler of yours and we'll have us a one time race, right
Danny Porsche and Jerry Johnson
both spoke up, "No no no
we got to be at Orange County
early tomorrow Larry. We got another big race at OCIR. Let's
get our check and go home."
Indeed, Larry Dixon Sr. and the
Howard Cam Rattler was hot to go. Orange County International
Raceway was wrapping up its rain delayed annual All-Pro Series
Championship tomorrow. George and I would be there to see Larry
and the Rattler strike again.
The Rattler never sleeps, it
OCIR All-Pro Series Championship
Sunday, February 9th 1969
Orange County California
Sunday, a day of rest and worship.
For others they embrace the gods of thunder and speed, praying
for Lady Luck to bless them. This day the men of the long rails
gathered in their Sunday best to be crowned 'All Pro' Champion.
But The Almighty had the last
laugh; He rained out the original day of January 19th for this
fine day of February.
The pit area was the 'A' list
of who's who. Steve Carbone driving Creitz-Greer & Donovan
(Low ET 6.98 at All Pro Series) with his swaggering confidence
joined Beebe & Mulligan (Runner up All Pro Series, Won the
Pomona NHRA Winternationals 1969)), Tom 'The Mongoose' McEwen
(winner the All Pro Series- 224.42 mph), Jerry Glenn 'Atlas Oil
Tool', Mr. Ed, Don 'The Snake' Prudhomme, and Tony Waters, The
Syndicate, Dunn & Reath, Warren-Coburn-Miller 'The Ridge
Route Terror', Ewell-Bell-Olsen, Beachboys, Addict, Abbott Bros.
& Lee (January 11th Lions 15th Anniversary victory); Benny
'The Wizard' Osborne (the Worlds Final victor), and the Howard
Cam Rattler with Larry Dixon Sr. (low ET 6.81 att 214.79 at the
Pomona Winternationals 1969). Yes, a very tough field of champions
on this day of worship.
OCIR is the fancy mans drag strip.
Modern tall tower, thousands of seats, ample parking in this
affluent part of Southern California. And the food
it's about the same as Lions, just better napkins.
With so many dragsters in today's
show, I spent lots of time looking at posters, decals and girls.
It's not hard to believe who didn't make the semi finals. There
were failures, red lights, wheelies, and the non-starters. But
our boy Larry Dixon cut through the pile in the unstoppable Howard
Cam Rattler. With Rick Ramsey at the wheel it was a strong contender,
but it had some puzzling problems. After Ramsey left and Dixon
took over the driving chores, owners Danny and Tony Porsche,
motor man Jerry Johansen and Roy Miersch, Paul Armstrong and
Raymond Masco as crew members, they finally found their winning
combination. Now the Howard Cam Rattler would coiled and strike
at every race.
The eliminations ousted many
heavy weights. Don Prudhomme sat out and watched the semi-finals
while eating his 9 PM hotdogs. So did Warren-Coburn-Miller and
Dunn & Reath teams.
Yesterday's Lions finalist Ewell-Bell-Olsen enjoyed the evening
watching by the fence line with Beachboys, Addict and Abbott
Bros. & Lee.
Here is what they watched. Tom
'The Mongoose' McEwen eager to beat Dixon and make up for Lions
'Perpetual Motion' sickness yesterday. However Larry Dixon does
not shrink away when it's time to race. Both staged and watching
the lights drop. Dixon dropped McEwen at the light without a
trace of smoke and turned in a Low ET of the day at 6.85 to Mongoose's
7.25 rolling along through the top end and on to its trailer.
Creitz & Donovan
with Steve Carbone driving.
Next up Creitz & Donovan
hard driven by Steve Carbone vs. Benny Osborn the current 'win
everything' guy. Each wanting the pie all to themselves. They
both put on a show of strength, smoky burnouts and a lot of Waaaap
waaaap!! One of the two should have the top speed or lower ET
for the night. Both fast and quick. Down came the ambers, Green!
Benny Osborn was a little too quick and got a big fat red eye.
Carbone saved his engine and coasted to the win and into the
The Fighting Irish ~
Tim Beebe & John Mulligan AA/FD
The Fighting Irish, Beebe &
Mulligan vs. Larry Dixon and the Howard Cam Rattler team. Beebe
& Mulligan's dragster is one of the most beautiful race cars
I've ever seen. Stunning to the eye and one of the most remembered
of all the diggers. John must have been looking at his paint
job when Dixon hammered him at the lights and gave 'The Zoo Keeper'
a view of the back end on the Rattlers all the way through the
lights. It's still a beautiful dragster even sitting on its trailer
waiting to go home.
The final match-up. Can Larry Dixon and the Howard Cam Rattler
AA/FD be the one to win back-to-back weekend events? Lions 'Perpetual
Motion' Phase II and the OCIR All-Pro Series Championship. The
Creitz & Donovan AA/FD driven by Steve Carbone was no easy
pass. He was a proven champion. Fast and lighten quick out of
the gate. Carbone's team was of Creitz & Donovan graced the
winners circle many times. If anything Carbone would not let
Dixon steal his glory, not today. Confidence? Yes he had plenty.
Dixon had his hands full with his old friend in the final.
The Howard Cam team went to work preparing the Rattler for the
race of the weekend. Everything was checked and readied. Larry
was concerned. He stayed out of the way and let Jerry Johnson
work his magic. Larry is usually right in there when racing his
own dragster Fireside Inn Roadster, but it was not his car, not
this time. Soon it was time to meet Creitz, Donovan & Carbone
on the short straight road to victory.
George and I went to see Larry
before the big race. Larry was unusually quiet.
Larry: "Hey Hutch, Todd
and me in the last run, how about that."
Todd: "You can beat this
guy; don't let it play on your mind."
Larry: "I appreciate that,
he's good, and he's my friend, I like him a lot
George: "Larry, you know
what to do. Both cars are fast, both cars have sharp teams. Where
is the advantage?" George was digging for an answer that
Larry already knew to himself.
Larry: "At the lights. I
beat McEwen and Beebe at the lights. I can beat Carbone at the
lights too. No smokin' and foot hard to the floor until the chutes
open." With that Larry smiled, "Bitchin' Waaaap Ruuup
God I love it!" He cheered up with that.
George: "Razor sharp timing
Larry, boom! And don't pull an Osborn red light." He laughs.
Larry: "Oh thanks, now I
have to get that crap out of my head, thanks Hutch!" He
too laughs along.
The night took the advantage
and covered the heavens with countless stars on deep black. OCIR
had the lights, and was always well lit. A class 'A' drag strip,
top of the line. Steve Gibbs made sure of that. The stands were
full, the fence line populated, the photographers ready with
fresh film. This was the 'Nervous 10'. Ten minutes before it
started and everyone was nervous.
There were some track announcements,
upcoming events and special thanks to someone out there. The
concession stands were cleaning up and closing down. But still
had that last minute hotdog for someone on their way to the stands
or parking lot. It had been a long weekend for all the drivers
and crews, fans and track operators. Everyone wanted one thing,
a close race and a clean victory. No more broken this and that,
red lights or non-starters. Give us one helluva last great race!
And we'll all go home and talk about it tomorrow.
Down they came from a distance,
slow at first, a low rumbling than a sharp Waaaap Ruuup ratttt
ratttt Waaaap! These are the sounds we all have waited for. Like
a far off warning that something fierce is approaching, the last
two come into view. Rolling along in front of the cheering fans
the long rails bounce and spit fire and thunder on the push road.
This is the fans favorite way of starting the show. Roller starts
robbed the fans of this personal thrill. Like ancient warriors
entering the arena, we the spectator get to view each challenger
on their strength and merit. We stand and cheer the final two
champs. Thumbs up! Let the last contest begin. "One victor!"
At long last it has come to this:
Steve Carbone vs. Larry Dixon Sr. Carbone first to enter center
stage, around he rolled into his lane. Close behind came the
Rattler and lined up for its burnout performance. Both rolled
through and ignited the tires into a plume of white clouds.
The Machines: As fast as it gets,
more powerful than anything on asphalt; a simple design for its
use, it requires a perfect sequence of mechanical movements sparked
by exotic fuels and more oxygen than you can breath in a month
for its short life of a few minutes. Heat, its only limitation.
Two much and the fuel will lean out and loose power. Just one
small weak point in the metal or hesitation in igniting the fuel
and it can explode spraying sharp pieces and hot oil into everything
The Driver: A person of exceptional
skill and nerve, who excels at timing and instinct, can read
his engine and racer from the confines of his seat and know how
to react when things go bad. When things do go bad at 225 mph,
they can keep their cool, do the right thing and come back the
next weekend and do it again.
Carbone and Dixon pre-stage,
yellow! Carbone wants his victory and eagerly stages the final
light, yellow! Patiently Dixon slowly rolls forward and finally
breaks the light, yellow and holds. As the ambers descend, the
center stage at Orange County International Raceway was illuminated
by the tall flames and the intense roar of the engines high Rpm's.
What must have gone through Carbone's
mind when just out of sight and through his header flames he
senses Dixons movement ahead. Larry Dixon's instincts were razor
sharp and in a fraction of a second the race was his. Out front
and leading all the way 1320 feet to the top end light trap his
ET & mph glows against the black of night, 7.24 ~ 220.04
Carbone never letting up, hoping he could close the gap between
the two, finishes with 7.52 ~ 216.34.
Things being pretty much the
same at this point; engines, teammates, skill level and history,
that momentary split in timing speed favoring one over the other
is all that it takes for the last one to stand alone, as champion.
As close as that can be, it will produce a runner up. That is
why we celebrate the winner. The fans got their monies worth,
a close race with a clean victory.
At the top end Larry Dixon is near tears. As the two shake hands
in congratulatory protocol, Steve has profound insight 'We'll
meet again Larry.' The two had been friends for a long time and
Steve was very happy for Larry.
Sr. Dixon's consistent trail
of victories leading him to this day brings him to the forefront
of Drag Racings elite. The money handlers and sponsorships.
But for now its Larry Dixon Sr.
weekend victory, double wins in two days, it is rare but do-able.
For Pat and Larry Jr. they have the joy of seeing husband and
Daddy in the victory light. "We did it Big Boy, we won!"
Larry Sr. tells Larry Jr. "Again, wow!" Jr. Dixon hug's
his daddy. What a thrill it must have been for Larry Jr. to see
his Daddy as the winner in so many difficult contests. To be
the best and still be a loving Dad. To share the spotlight with
him in every victory photo. A young sons Hero and Dad. It must
have been the catalyst for Jr. Dixon's huge mark in the history
books of Drag Racing in the years to come.
(with Larry Jr. in the seat) and the Howard Cams team celebrate
the big win with OCIR managier, Mike Jones. February 9th 1969.
Father and son, champions, a
history of victories, a family legacy in the pages of The Book
of Records of Drag Racing Winners.
March 16th: Steve Carbone vs. Larry Dixon Sr. did meet again
the next month at Riverside California, in the finals of the
three day Hot Rod Magazine Championship. Carbone was sure to
Steve captured the low ET of
6.80 and he wanted this win. The Best in the field in Drag Racing
were in attendance. From Don Garlits to Frank Petregon. Three
days of hard competition lead to this incredible shoot out. Again.
Carbone on the right lane, Dixon
on the left. Steve dropped the hammer on Dixon at the green and
jumped ahead. Steve, thinking he had it in the bag, raised his
right hand in a 'V' for victory salute. Than
He hand quickly returned to the steering, but it was all over
for Steve Carbone driving Creitz & Donovan top fueler. All
he could do was to watch Larry Dixon Sr. and the Howard Cam Rattler
disappear down the track, again. Steve could clearly read Dixon's
ET and mph 7.25 ~ 205.94 from his slow rolling digger as he moved
past the timing board. A large slice of 'Humble Pie' awaited
him in the pit area.
February 1st 1970: Pomona California,
10th Annual NHRA Winternationals. The big one, the Oscars of
Drag Racing. Larry Dixon Sr. driving a new Howard Cam Rattler
with ET's like 6.78, 6.87 and 6.89, blew a piston. The Howard
Cam Rattler team worked quickly to install a new engine from
Jerry Johnson. Their quick work enabled the Howard Cam Rattler
to take home the 'Oscar' as Top Fuel Eliminator, again.
It was with the greatest of pleasure
researching the history and background story on this double win
for Larry Dixon Sr. With all the Drag News on CD's from the 1320
Group and the endless mountains of information and photos at
Don Ewald's We Did It For Love web site (wdifl.com) I had most
of what I needed. But I got help with many of the details from
experts like Don Ewald, George Hutcheson and hours of conversation
with Larry Dixon Sr. himself. If you ever get the chance to meet
Larry Dixon Sr., do it. He is a one of a kind. Oh yea and Larry
Dixon Jr. is pretty fast too!
Here is one of Larry Dixon Sr.
toys. Its street legal, just ask the cop who stopped him on that
country road out there in California. No autograph was required
by the local highway patrol officer.
Part of Todd Hutcheson Stories
in "The Time of My Life"
More Todd Hutchenson
"The Time of My Life"
A Gathering of Long Trailers
Stone Age Man
Big Daddy and I
Taming of the Rat Trap