UPDATE: NHRA Suspends Larry Dixon Indefinitely Over Issues With Two Seat Top Fuel Dragster – New Information Here

UPDATE: NHRA Suspends Larry Dixon Indefinitely Over Issues With Two Seat Top Fuel Dragster – New Information Here


UPDATE 11/8/17 –

In a communication we received from Larry Dixon we need to amend the following statements we made previously in this report. 

1.) The chassis tag on the car was expired, not current as we were incorrectly informed of.

2.) Larry states that he never spoke to the NHRA about displaying the car at one of their events, a statement we made below based on information we received from a source that claimed knowledge of the situation. This information was apparently not correct.

3.) Larry’s runs were made at Edgewater Sports Park in Ohio under the auspices of a private track rental.


UPDATE: BangShift.com has confirmed that Larry Dixon made 5 passes at Edgewater Sports Park, an NHRA sanctioned track.

More news as well get it –

Last week at the 2017 SEMA show, Larry Dixon made a huge splash by making a public debut of his two seat top fuel dragster. We had seen images of this car as far back as late winter and were sworn to secrecy as to its existence. After that big fanfare last week, the drag racing world erupted today when the NHRA announced that it had indefinitely suspended Dixon’s competition privileges for issues surrounding chassis certification and “participant conduct”. In a statement, the NHRA stated that they “had discovered the use of an NHRA chassis tag on an unauthorized and unapproved two seat dragster.” This being the Murf McKinney built machine that Dixon had planned on using as a thrill ride business.

Here’s what the NHRA’s statement says:

The NHRA imposed an indefinite suspension of competition privileges against Larry Dixon for violating NHRA Rules, particularly Section 1.3.1 Participant Conduct and 1.6.3 Chassis Inspection of the 2017 NHRA Rulebook.  NHRA Tech Department discovered the use of a NHRA chassis tag on an unauthorized and unapproved two seat dragster.  Any further incidents could result in further action.  Larry can appeal the decision, per the 2017 NHRA Rulebook.

Now, there’s a huge amount of confusion, misinformation and downright falsehoods circulating around the internet regarding this situation. We have worked the phones and have been able to garner some additional information that other outlets do not have. But first let’s start with the obvious. The chassis tag.

A chassis tag is granted after an inspection is performed by a certified chassis inspector and that person has verified that the construction of the car meets the standards set forth by SFI for whatever type of car that it is. In this case we are talking about a top fuel dragster. There is no existing standard for the construction of a two seat top fuel dragster. There is for a two seat super comp car but not for top fuel.

So the natural question is, “how was there a chassis tag on it”? Well that story remains to be told and we do not have the answers. There are possible scenarios, though. One is that the driver’s area was already built as part of another car which had a tag on it and the passenger area was added on, so the tag was already present. Another is that somehow a tag was procured and affixed to the chassis. We have no idea how it got there but by the wording of the NHRA announcement, it shouldn’t have been present.

Then there is a second part to the story that has not been brought up and that may be the crux of this whole issue. This leads us to an as yet unconfirmed report that the car was actually run at the NHRA sanctioned Edgewater Dragway in Ohio during the late September/early October time frame. If that is the case and word got back to NHRA head quarters, it sheds more light on the situation.

We’re reporting what we have been able to dig up so far and will continue hunting down information as well as keeping our ears to the tracks on this developing story.







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65 thoughts on “UPDATE: NHRA Suspends Larry Dixon Indefinitely Over Issues With Two Seat Top Fuel Dragster – New Information Here

  1. Neil Van Zile

    Thanks for clearing at least some of this up. A lot of NHRA bashing going on right now over this, and I’m not sure it’s justified.

  2. Dave

    Have not been to a nhra race in years because they have there heads up there ass. This just proves it still up there.

    1. Bobby Burleson

      Wally parks will be turning over in his grave on this stupid bullshit right here He is not the only one that made a To see her top few car. This is why in April away is losing all their fans if one for innovation With Big Daddy doing the things that he did in HRA wouldn\’t be the success it is today really

      1. Jim Johnson

        Sorry but I believe Wally Parks would be right in line with this whole thing. I guess you haven’t listened to Big Daddy tell about what occurred in the beginning of drag racing.

  3. doug

    Guilty until proven innocent…..Larry jumped into unchartered waters with this venture…..which is very cool….approached the NHRA to work out the issues…..NHRA gave him the finger instead of working out the details so he could move forward with this venture……standard operating procedure for NHRA it seems…..

    1. doug gregory

      the part of the above clarification I don’t get is that Larry asked if he could display it and NHRA said ‘no’ that they would not allow a 2-seater Fueler to run. He asked to display it first. Door shut. Go away Larry. We aren’t interested. I also doubt Larry put the tag on it himself. Also pretty sure Larry didn’t show up with the car at Edgewater unannounced and they just let him run. He wanted to test and a track (not owned by NHRA) allowed it. If he was making 300ft squirts then whoop-t-do. Pretty sure he can’t make a full 1,000ft pass there running the allowed load on a competition tune-up. It’s not that caliber of track these days. Just my opinion. It’s heavy-handed and could have been handled better. The builder is on the SFI board….one of the most-respected out there. I’m having a hard time understanding their hard-headedness. Larry should go do something else and not try to help NHRA win more fans. The front office already knows everything and has all the answers. Get in step….it’s a member, non-profit you know.

  4. Jon Hollis

    NHRA wasting what could have been good, positive, and free advertisement. The P.R. people really missed the boat. Now they are getting bad press about something that could easily have been handled better.

  5. Mike

    Larry Dixon going for the 405 list in 3…2…1…
    Seriously, they’re going to suspend him indefinitely over something that amounts to an unapproved concept?
    Remember, the NHRA let Darrell Alderman come back after an indefinite suspension for illegal drug use and drug trafficking. I think everybody deserves a second chance, and this suspension is bullshit. Come on, Mike Dunn! It’s time for the organization you represent to stop alienating the fan base!

    1. C1BAD66 Malibu

      Respectfully, Mike, you might wanna reconsider the last sentence of your post.

      Mike Dunn’s the president of the IHRA.

      1. Duane Moore

        That was his point….. maybe you need it spelled out…. Maybe the IHRA would welcome Larry and this car.

  6. Doug

    Murf McKinney is the chassis builder, and if I’m not mistaken they have in house certification capabilities. So there is a chance it was installed there. NHRA is dying a slow and painful death. From the recent uproar over cutting the Pro Stock fields , the inability to fill the Fuel classes and stands at some events, dismal TV ratings after taking the production in house and providing less then acceptable coverage, among other things shows that the NHRA has no clue as to what the racers and fans alike want and deserve. Yet they seem to have the time to suspend Dixon over a Ride along business venture that marketed correctly could lead to more corporate sponsorship and involvement in a sport that has seen both leaving in recent years. It seems if you want true, honest drag racing these days Sportsman racing is the way to go. But even that lacks attention on the NHRA Corporate level…

    1. Brandon

      Great Post Doug. I completely agree. Traxxas is all in and I\’m sure this new venture would attract more people. Lets be honest, its going to be a thrill ride for pretty well to do \”thrill seekers\”, you know, the ones that have money to spend and maybe invest in drag racing. Hope it all gets worked out.

  7. Bob Dreher

    The car started out as a Hadman chassis which Bob Vandergriff had given Larry. The original Hadman car is all there, we used the backhalf from it also.

  8. Bill

    If NHRA is involved they WILL make the wrong decision, after all look what they did to the California Hot Rod Reunion. They need new management pronto or the whole group will end up like the NFL.

    1. Joel Wolfson

      Dixon & His 2 seater may soon be the KINGS of the IHRA. Look what has happened since Street Outlaws came to TV. An exciting 1/8th mile race track will draw a ton of fans (I\’ve seen it happen). If the NHRA continues to piss Dixon and His fans off, They are going poop in Their own mess kits. Dixon could very easily give the NHRA the finger & become the IHRA\’s \”poster boy\”, take His car to tons of IHRA tracks, get the fans really high on nitro, do some burnouts & squirts & take millionaires for rides. 1/8 mile tracks are the future, & Dixon can make TONS of $. I\’m thinking the NHRA has screwed this up, BIG TIME!!

      1. Roger M Rees

        I hope you are correct. The prices are so high a person with money troubles, SSI, has not been able to attend for years. NHRA took a knee jerk reaction and will pay dearly. Look at the what the few NFL players are costing there owners.

  9. Wade

    NHRA should be looking at the fan base and how to get some back. This could help. Give Dixon a metal!

  10. Truckin Ted

    No matter what, several things will happen regardless of the facts:

    1. LD will get the short end of the stick.
    2. No matter the cert. sticker situation, the certified chassis builder will also
    get the short end of the stick.
    3. The track will catch hell.
    4. Mike Dunn will leave a message on Dixon’s phone.
    5. NHRA will do what they want because they can…….at the moment.
    6. Further decline in race attendance will continue.
    7. Ford getting back in next year will not prop up the series to its glory days.

    The real interesting question is, was Larry driving the car for shake down runs? Which seems fairly reasonable. If there was another passenger in the car, well that might raise a few questions.

  11. Mike Rammelt

    Guys all spot on comments. Doug and all.
    Larry was interviewed by Wes Buck at SEMA and from what he said he hasn’t carried a passenger. Safety is #1 and they used sand bags and ran to the 1/8th.
    LD said they will only run to the 1/8 at 250.

    NHRA could of worked with him not against him. They run twin seater F1 cars and Liberty Media think it’s great!

    Yeah, since the NHRA cut the cable to the word I’ve been enjoying speed Video, BangShift of course and PDRA, ADRL and the other events.
    Just check out Sunday’s domestic vs imports world finals from MIR. Magic stuff.
    Packed stands and records. Different combos. Excellent.

  12. Scott Liggett

    I would be interested in hearing the side of this storybwe haven’t yet, but many are judging anyways. Larry’s side.

  13. Wild Wolfpig

    WHAT IF, some billionaire (or His people) contact Dixon, because Mr. Big$$, wants a thrill ride & Dixon goes for it. And Mr. Big$$ LOVES IT & decides to sponsor Dixon with MEGABUCKS, then They get the best NHRA certified chassis builder(s) to build a couple of NHRA legal chassis & then L.D. & Mr. Big$, want to race, how does the NHRA say NO? They can\’t, without pissing-off all of the fans. Suppose Dixon & Mr. $$ Bags win the championship & then leave to the IHRA or start Their own association & invite everyone that NHRA has pissed-off. That could happen & that could be the end of the NHRA. Mr. Tom Compton (or whomever the President is now) better get Their stuff together, NOW!! Isn\’t Mario Andretti having fun with a 2 seat car?

  14. Wild Wolfpig

    WHAT IF, some billionaire (or His people) contact Dixon, because Mr. Big$$, wants a thrill ride & Dixon goes for it. And Mr. Big$$ LOVES IT & decides to sponsor Dixon with MEGABUCKS, then They get the best NHRA certified chassis builder(s) to build a couple of NHRA legal chassis & then L.D. & Mr. Big$, want to race, how does the NHRA say NO? They can’t, without pissing-off all of the fans. Suppose Dixon & Mr. $$ Bags win the championship & then leave to the IHRA or start Their own association & invite everyone that NHRA has pissed-off. That could happen & that could be the end of the NHRA. Mr. Tom Compton (or whomever the President is now) better get Their stuff together, NOW!! Isn’t Mario Andretti having fun with a 2 seat car?

    1. Tommy d

      I thought the IHRA is now an \’\’ALL BRACKET FORMAT\’\’ organization? No Pro\’s or S/S or Stock.

  15. Rod

    Hi I think it\’s a great idea it would be a awesome thrill ride great idea I think it\’s wrong that they would do that to a well known racer

  16. Rick Mason

    Been watching drag racing since 1960. Started going to the Indy Nationals in 1962. Have seen some of the greatest racing you can imagine! It all started going downhill for me with the elimination of Gas/Modified Production classes but we kept going. The straw that broke it was the complete breakdown of Pro Stock. EFI, no scoop, same cars (if they can find 16) EVERY week. NHRA has ALWAYS turned a blind eye to what the blue collar (read: most viewers) man wants to see race but instead bowed down to corporate America and are now circling the drain. NHRA, ask not for whom the bell (or Christmas Tree) tolls, gentlemen, y’all are soon to pay the piper. And you ain’t gonna like ‘the bottom line’!!

  17. Rick

    Corporate NHRA needs to retire. They stole the Califonia Hot Rod Reunion from the Museum last year and this years car count was down 200 cars. Theres a new player in town PDRA, IHRA

    1. doug gregory

      That is the first time I’ve seen that one…. I like it. Makes me wonder when they will quell Bo Butner’s fun because he isn’t in lockstep.

  18. Marv

    NHRA was created to give racers a sanctioned, level playing field,, and evolved to a safety organization (the height of it\’s usefulness) , that,, like everything else, turned to POWER and they let the power and $$$ go to their head. Somehow you can bet this as about MONEY and how NHRA is going to get a piece of it. It is not a competition vehicle, it\’s an EXHIBITION vehicle that is NOT USED IN COMPETITION. How can the NHRA rules apply,, ONLY because it was ran on a NHRA sanctioned track. The TRACK should be reprimanded not the car, driver or car owner!!

    Unfortunately NHRA is the only game in town as far as sponsorship of the level needed to support a profitable T/F team. Dixon will have to play the NHRA money-grubbing BS game or go buy his own \’exhibition\’ track and tell NHRA to stick it.

    NHRA is driving the nails in it\’s own coffin alienating the Pro racers, They already drove off all of us sportsman guys, cutting ProStock,, now crap like this!

  19. Bill Freel

    Watch PDRA & SEGA (Southeast Gassers Association). Want to see some great racing, SEGA is it! 1967 era high winding 4-speed cars on the 1/8th mile. BUGS included. (backup girls).

  20. geo815

    If I was Dixon, I’d find a plot near Vegas, build a thrill-park with this as a center-piece, and hang that “banned by the NHRA” moniker around my neck like Run-D.M.C.’s gold chains. Screw them. Seems obvious to me that the accountants, lawyers, and non-racing marketeers rule the roost in Glendora.

  21. Jeff

    LD needs to call Virgil Hartmann, Scott Palmer and Mitch King and go match race the thing in no where Texas, Oklahoma and so. Missouri against the top fuel promod car

  22. 88 ProStreet S10

    (Shout out to C1BAD66) –

    Back on topic now, I may have very well attended my last NHRA based event.

  23. specmon

    They have had 2seater Moto Gp bikes for over 10 years now,Randy Mamola on the Ducati is probably the best jockey you could ever wish for and the best PR you could ever want for your sport.

  24. Steve

    What I don’t get is how the nhra has tec rules for a super comp 2 seater and don’t have a clue on how to tec this car. Nhra looks really bad for jumping the gun and suspending LD. All they had to do is tell him to park the car for a bit until they could fugue out how to make this deal work. I bet with out a doubt it it was John force or don Schumacher who came out with this car they would be all over it instead of against it granted the issue they have is over the sticker and him running the car already he’s a proven champion great driver Murph is a proven great chassis Builder there shouldn’t have been any problems with him making solo runs in the car. I personally haven’t been to an hnra race in a few years and watch it on demand so I can fast forward through all the jfr dsr ass kissing that goes on

  25. Justin

    The nhra completely screwed up the California hot rod reunion, probably forever. The nhra can’t fill the stands for their own races and now they’re pulling this stunt.

    At some point in the near future there’s going to be a Master class at Harvard Business school or Wharton titled “How the NHRA had a monopoly on Drag Racing and still managed to bankrupt itself…”

  26. Tim from the \'couve

    In the first story Larry Dixon apologized and took the blame for having an expired chassis cert tag. He said he was only trying to gauge reaction and support for this idea. I find it unfortunate that the NHRA chose to remove the tag at the very public SEMA show, this could have been handled so much better. Then again we have witnessed the NHRA apply their thumb to the eye of fans and competitors since the early \’70s. I for one can\’t even watch drag racing on TV anymore, with fully half of the T/F FC field owned by JFR and DSR, using the exact same equipment…where is the excitement? Justin, you are correct, the monopoly will bankrupt itself. RIP professional drag racing…sigh!

  27. Mark

    Bangshift getting as bad as the lame stream media, rushing to post a story without checking the facts..
    Not like the car wasn\’t at the same event as many of the b/s staff to look at and , you know talk to those involved with the vehicle..

    At least the name is correct B/S BLOG

  28. C1BAD66 Malibu

    An NHRA agent removed an out-of-date SFI sticker at SEMA?

    Does the NHRA claim to own the stickers?

  29. blownflattie

    Dixon could have frosted NHRA’s pipes even further if he put illegal
    (bore-spacing) FORD engines in the car.
    NHRA would have given him a lifetime suspension for that.

  30. Todd Gilstein

    The stupidity and heads up the a$$ on this board wants me to leave the human race. So let me get this straight:

    1. Larry Dixon debuts a two-seater dragster at the largest automotive show (SEMA) and didnt think to get it approved ahead of time with the sanctioning body he expects to approve it? If true, is that the decision making prowess you want steering you down a track at 300MPH?

    2. Expired tag for chassis certification. So why on Gods gr

  31. Todd Gilstein

    Green earth would you even test an non certified car – and with a passenger!

    3. Why does Larry need the NHRA? They arent stopping him, they just said they wont approve it. Thats right, Larry needs the NHRA, but knowing they wouldnt approve it he decided to make it extremely uncomfortable if they didnt, and lost.

    NHRA has everything to lose by getting involved. They have built themselves as an advocate of safety and responsibility. Larry has not shown himself to display either of those qualities by ambushing the league with this announcement.

    By the way, a two seater dragster isnt going to bring new sponsorship and interest to the sport. It will bring liability though, and my assumption is the liability is not worth the risk. Have you seen the explosions these cars can make at full power? And these are full time crew chiefs and teams, with the best paets and safety equipment, at tracks that are groomed for these situations. What does Larry have available at his disposal for Monday test sessions at $10,000 a pop? Not to mention, the engine might go pop – and when that happens, and it will, Larry probably runs to NHRA (if they had agreed to be part of the deal) with hands out saying, “this guy could be a sponsor, but I need money to rebuild, I thiught we were partners. Oh well, guess I will go to the media, tell my side of the story (get 90% of the facts wrong, a la first 3-bullets in the update) they will publish it, the keyboard critics will rally behind me and NHRA will look horrible.

    Any of this sound accurate? If not, read the article again and then your comments

  32. Nitro john

    As a friend of Larry I\’m sure this was not done with malice more to bring more attention to the sport would I drive a 2 seater hell ya would I ride with Larry yup as I\’m sure he had a good idea here just went about it the wrong way!

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