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Shawn Langdon replaces Larry Dixon on NHRA top-fuel team

December 13, 2011 |  1:21 pm

Al-Anabi Racing said Shawn Langdon replaced Larry Dixon on its NHRA top-fuel drag-racing team Tuesday after the team and Dixon, a three-time champion, parted ways.

Langdon, 29, a native of Mira Loma, Calif., spent the last three years driving top-fuel dragsters for Morgan Lucas Racing but has yet to win a race in 69 starts in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s premier Full Throttle Series.

Dixon"We are confident if we provide [Langdon] with a championship-caliber car he will find a way to win," Alan Johnson, who manages Al-Anabi's top-fuel team, said in a statement.

Dixon, 45, and Johnson "agreed to a mutual separation," according to a team announcement earlier Tuesday that did not elaborate on the reasons why.

"The reasons leading to this mutual decision are private team matters; no further information will be provided and no interviews will be granted," the team said.

Dixon, who who grew up in Northridge and graduated from Van Nuys High, won his third top-fuel title in the National Hot Rod Assn.'s Full Throttle Series in 2010, a year in which he won 12 races. His other titles came in 2002-03.

This year he finished fourth in the championship standings with two wins during the season, while his teammate Del Worsham won the top-fuel championship.

"In enjoyed my three seasons driving the Al-Anabi top-fuel car," Dixon said in a statement. "I am anxious to see what the future has in store for me."

Johnson said in the same release that "as difficult as some decisions can be, there are times when they become necessary but can be best for everyone involved."

Worsham retired last monthafter winning this year's title at the season finale in Pomona, and Johnson and Al-Anabi have yet to name his replacement.

-- Jim Peltz

Photo: Larry Dixon celebrates after his top-fuel victory in the NHRA Arizona Nationals on Oct. 16 at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Credit: Jerry Foss/Associated Press