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Dixon seeks the peak at Little Valley

Steve Dixon has had dreams about achieving a perfect racing season and by Sunday evening there is a strong possibility that dream may become reality.

Dixon, a 360 Late Model driver from Smethport, Pa., has won all four special event feature races at Little Valley Speedway. If he can corral the checkered flag in Little Valley's season finale Sunday, he will have earned a season of perfection there.

Little Valley draws a large number of 360 Late Models to all its events, including visits by the BRP Can-Am 360 Late Model Series. The competition in this division is fierce. To win one race is difficult much less four in a row.

"There's a lot of reasons why I've got the winning streak going this season there," said Dixon, 29. "I can't lie. I think about 60 percent of it is luck. I've been able to start up front. I think the worst starting spot I've had all season was 10th and then I just took my time and missed the wrecks and was able to be around at the end to win.

"You have to be patient and be running late in the race to have a chance to win. Also, the bottom [groove] has been the place to be all season this year at Little Valley. I like running the bottom because I can rotate the car around the corners and get good momentum for going fast down the straightway and passing people.

"It seems that a lot of drivers have been sliding up the track toward the high groove. That opens up the lower groove where I like to run and that gives me opportunities."

Dixon has to pretty much just start Sunday's race to garner the season championship, which has proved to be elusive. In the past two years, the Little Valley title has slipped from Dixon in the late going.

"Two years ago, I was leading the points going into the final race by four or five over Randy Hall," Dixon said. "I just had an off night and I finished a few spots behind Randy and lost the championship.

"Last year I was leading the points going into the next-to-last race and I broke a flywheel and had a bad finish. Bruce Miller was able to get the lead and went on to get the title. In fact, I was leading the Can-Am points last year over Jeff Chesebro going into the last race at Black Rock, and Jeff and I were involved in a wreck.

"We both had to restart at the back and he had a harder tire on than I did and he was able to get back closer to the front than me so he got the Can-Am championship."

Despite the disappointments, Dixon has won season point titles. He won the 2008 McKean County 360 Late Model championship and two McKean Street Stock and a Regional Racing Series (RRS) Street Stock championship.

Dixon is the son of semi-retired 360 Late Model driver Bob Dixon and has been in this division for five years. He began racing at age 21, starting in Street Stocks.

Of his four Little Valley triumphs this season, two have been in visits by the BRP Can-Am 360 Late Model Series. Sunday's race also will be a Can-Am event. Dixon sees a parallel between finding success in both the Little Valley and Can-Am ranks.

"When the Can-Am races at Little Valley, they bring some of the best racers anywhere to run there," said Dixon, who drives a CRS 2009 Chevrolet Corvette.

"When the races are open-competition at Little Valley, many of those same Can-Am drivers come to Little Valley to race anyway even though it's not a Can-Am deal. The racers seem to enjoy racing at Little Valley.

"I know it will be tough trying to win the race Sunday because everyone will be gunning for me. Unless I finish dead last I should have the championship locked up so getting the perfect fifth win would be icing on the cake."

In addition, the 358 Modifieds featuring several Ransomville, Merrittville and Humberstone Speedway drivers will race at Little Valley on Sunday. The race will feature DIRT.car 358 Modified rules. The Super Late Models and Open Street Stocks complete the program.

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Pit stops

*Merrittville Speedway champions crowned over the last two weeks are: Larry Lampman Jr., 358 Modifieds; Chad Chevalier, Sportsman; Rob Murray, Hoosier Stocks; Matt Deschamps, Mini Stocks; and Jamie Gilbert, Open Wheel Lites.

*Humberstone season champions are: Tyler McPherson, Sportsman; Pete Bicknell, 358 Modifieds; Rob Murray, Street Stocks; Kevin Aube, Trucks; Garnet Wilson, Mini Stocks; and Aaron Vasas, Pure Stocks.

*Ransomville champs are: Todd Burley, 358 Modifieds; Ryan Susice, Sportsman; Derrick Borkenhagen, Street Stocks; and Jamie O'Donnell, Firehall Enduro.

*Genesee Speedway champs are: Brian Sage, Sportsman; Jon Rivers, 360 Late Models; Josh Smallidge, Street Stocks; Dan Norton, Mini Stocks; and Mike Lauterborn, Open Sprint Cars.

*Stateline Speedway champs are: Chad Valone, Super Late Models; Justin Carlson, E-Mods; John Boardman, Super Sportsman; Mike Moore, Outlaw Cadets; Brandon Groters, Spectator; Stephanie Hilyer, Lady Challenger; and Aaron Liberati, Super Challenger.

e-mail: lawrence_o_14075@yahoo.com

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