Larry Jr.  (Todd Dziadosz photo)

The Racin’ Dixons are 2012 March Meet Grand Marshals

“The Racin’ Dixons:” That’s how Larry Dixon Sr. refers to himself and son Larry Dixon Jr., and the name fits. After all, drag racing’s most famous father and son combo represent more than a half century of the sport. No wonder they are Grand Marshals of the 2012 March Meet nostalgia drag race, Mar. 1-4 at Auto Club Famoso Raceway.

“The Dixons are drag racing royalty,” said Blake Bowser, vice president and general manager of the Kern County Racing Association, operators of historic Auto Club Famoso and producers of the 54-year-old March Meet. “Larry Sr.’s the old school, front-engine driver who competed during drag racing’s golden era, and Larry Jr. is an NHRA Rookie of the Year and three-time Top Fuel world champion, representing modern-age racers. How cool is it for the fans to see the father and son legends together at the March Meet?”

Larry Dixon Sr. and the Dixon & Dunne Don Steele Top Fueler at the 1974 March Meet.  (Dave Kommel/Auto Imagery photo)

Dixon Sr., who drove the Fireside Inn Roadster to a championship in the Comp Eliminator class during the ’68 March Meet, and Dixon Jr., who’s been coming to Bakersfield since he was a kid, share an incredibly strong bond. They talk about it and reveal some of their drag racing memories in this Q&A.

Question: How did each of you react when you found out you were co-Grand Marshals for the 2012 March Meet? What does it mean to you both?

Larry Dixon Sr.: I was in total shock and flabbergasted. I thought they were joking. When I think of the March Meet, I think of (Don) Garlits, Jimmy Nix and ‘the Greek’ (Chris Karamesines). I am so honored – it really makes me feel good, especially sharing it with Larry Jr. It makes it special. I’m glad he reminded me I won there a million years ago.

Larry Dixon Jr.: I feel very fortunate. Initially I felt unworthy because of all the great names associated with the March Meet. I mean the March Meet has such an unbelievable history. I spent my childhood here. The March Meet is like Woodstock on nitro methane.

But this is the ultimate honor ’cause I get to share it with my dad on stage. I’ll remember this for the rest of my life. I feel like I’m riding his coattails because he has so many memories and friends here. And he won here…even if I had to remind him.