Larry Dixon was set Friday to make his return to the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series at the Amalie Oil Gatornationals with his own organization and a fresh sponsor, the 64th annual World Series of Drag Racing.
But before he could roll out of his pit, the NHRA ordered Dixon to remove or cover his sponsor’s logo. Invoking Section 20.11:1 of the NHRA rule book, Senior Vice-President of Racing Operations Graham Light delivered the edict Friday morning before qualifying began. (The passage states that the NHRA “reserves the right to regulate any advertising or other material that is present on site at any NHRA event, including without limitation any material appearing on any participant, on the body or any other visible part of any vehicle or transporter participating in NHRA events . . .")
Dixon complied, masking the World Series of Drag Racing logo with white tape.
“That’s OK. That’s one day in my life," Dixon said, downplaying any controversy. “The last time I raced down the track at Gainesville, it was way worse."
The World Series of Drag Racing is an IHRA-associated event that attracts many NHRA regulars. This year’s edition is scheduled for Aug. 25-27 at its longtime venue, Illinois’ Cordova International Raceway. Dixon – who raced against current IHRA President Mike Dunn in decades past – will be one of the headliners. AutoWeek