DIXON REVEALS TWO-SEAT TOP FUEL DRAGSTER (WITH VIDEO)
Larry Dixon has done many spectacular things in a dragster. He's spun one out at speed on three wheels. He's flown higher than the scoreboards. He's also won three NHRA championships as well as 62 national events.
In 2018, he's likely to secure his crowning achievement somewhere in the United States, on a drag strip yet to be named. Dixon is going to run 300 miles per hour with an honest-to-goodness backseat driver.
Dixon, on Tuesday at the 2017 SEMA Show in Las Vegas, revealed his new two-seat Top Fuel experience dragster. What would inspire such an extreme project?
"Because I’m crazy enough to think that it’s not that crazy," Dixon admitted.
Insanity aside, Dixon admits, the vision of a two-seat Top Fuel dragster was enough to get his creative marketing juices flowing.
"Thinking outside of the normal box is what inspired this," Dixon said. "Thinking about marketing companies, thinking about marketing my brand, thinking about marketing for our sport. Trying to do something not what everybody else always does, bring value to corporate America."
Dixon believes the combination of actually strapping a corporate CEO in the passenger seat, as well as being the focus of corporate events, marketing promotions and one-on-one marketing to be the recipe to bring fuel drag racing up close and personal with the decision makers of the business world.
Dixon's two-seater isn't the first in the nitro world, most recently Australia’s Darren Morgan Racing, in conjunction with Powercruise Promotions’ Michael Gilbert, fielded one Down Under.
Veteran fuel chassis builder Murf McKinney built Dixon's passenger dragster.
"Murf sits on the chassis committee for SFI, so I thought he was the best guy," Dixon explained. "Had our initial conversations, he loved the idea, and from that point, it was, ‘Let’s draw it out and build a computer model of it, and do some stress analysis on it and see where we’re at.' So we were definitely on the same page as far as that went.
"Went through that process and it’s, gosh, it’s unbelievable, how much safer, like how much less stress on the tubing and stuff, than a conventional Top Fuel car. So that was step one. Step two was could we insure something like this? And yes, we could do that as well. So from that point, we pulled the trigger."
As much as Dixon races to win, he plans to take safety to the next level with a passenger aboard.
"It’s one thing for me to go down the race track and do what I do, but taking somebody else down the track, I put more value on their life than I do my own," Dixon admitted.
At this point, the car has only run to the eighth-mile reaching a little over 250 miles per hour.
"I’m a drag racer since I was born, and I’m very, I have pride in our sport, and I see other two-seat experiences out there, Formula One, NASCAR, Indy Car, and I think that we should have the fastest two-seat experience because we are the fastest sport," Dixon explained. "So we’ll go to the eighth mile, get people up to 250 miles an hour."
Right now remote control titan Traxxas is Dixon's first customer, and they are using the two-seater as part of a promotion to give away a ride.
The rides won't be cheap, but neither is running an honest-to-goodness Top Fuel car either.
"It’s a real Top Fuel car, I can tell you that, and it’s really expensive," Dixon confirmed. "Traxxas put a value on it right at under $10,000."
But then, as Dixon will attest, the experience will be priceless.