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The two-car team, managed by Alan Johnson Racing has split from Larry Dixon, who gave Al-Anabi Racing its first U.S. championship winning NHRA's Top Fuel title in the 2010 Full Throttle Drag Racing Series.
Dixon was a keystone of the Al-Anabi Racing team, formed in 2009.
His three-season result of second, first and fourth in the Countdown to the Championship over three seasons includes 19 race wins. Dixon's stay with Al-Anabi Racing gave him a third NHRA Top Fuel championship.
As Dixon leaves, that means no continuity in the driver's seat for Al-Anabi Racing, winners of the past two Top Fuel championships. Newly-minted titleholder Del Worsham retired from active driving this November after earning his first NHRA professional championship in 21 seasons, driving an Al-Anabi Racing dragster.
"Larry has been an integral member of Al-Anabi Racing for the past three seasons," Johnson said. "He was instrumental in our successes, including winning our first NHRA championship in 2010. As difficult as some decisions can be, there are times when they become necessary--but can be best for everyone involved. I am proud to have raced with Larry, and I have great respect for his driving ability. I know I speak for everyone [on the team] when I wish him the best."
Dixon said he "enjoyed my three seasons [on the team]. We had a lot of wins and definitely the highlight was the championship last year. I want to thank Sheikh Khalid, Alan and everyone at AJR for my time there--and wish them all the best."
There you have Johnson's statement and one from Dixon, but the fact of the matter is the public relations release announcing this divorce said the following: "The reasons leading to this mutual decision are private team matters; no further information will be provided and no interviews will be granted."
Californian and second generation drag racer Dixon, 45, spent 14 seasons driving Top Fuel for Don Prudhomme's Snake Racing, winning back to back championships in 2002-3.
On his team's website, Alan Johnson said he was still "finalizing our plans for the 2012 season with our two-car team." Popular sentiment at the IMIS show has Khalid Balooshi moving up from NHRA's Get Screened America Pro Mod championship, joined by Shawn Langdon, late of Morgan Lucas Racing.
© 2011 Anne Proffit