NHRA: Leah Pritchett replaces Larry Dixon, Shawn Langdon stays at DSR

(Photo courtesy NHRA)
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Even though it’s the off-season, things have been very busy on the NHRA circuit of late.

Let’s catch you up with some of the most recent news:

* Despite finishing fourth in the final standings, three-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon is looking for a new ride for 2016.

According to a report by RacingJunk.com’s Jay Wells, Dixon has been replaced at Bob Vandergriff Racing for 2016 by female driver Leah Pritchett, who will become teammates with Dave Connolly for the two-dragster operation.

Connolly finished 10th in his rookie Top Fuel season in 2015.

Pritchett, who will be sponsored by Quaker State for at least five races, made the big announcement last Thursday at the PRI motorsports industry trade show in Indianapolis.

“The opportunity to run a complete NHRA Top Fuel season has been a goal that I have worked towards for a very long time,” Pritchett said, according to RacingJunk.com. “I am beyond excited for the opportunity to focus on making the countdown next season, competing for a championship, working alongside Bob Vandergriff Jr., and re-introduce the Quaker State brand back into the NHRA.

“This dream is now a reality, thanks in large part to the vision of Bob Vandergriff Jr., as well as the support of great companies and people along my way to this personal and professional milestone, and of course my fans.”

Pritchett drove part-time in 2015 for Dote Racing.

The NHRA season-opening Winternationals is Feb. 11-14 at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, California.

* Top Fuel driver and former champion Shawn Langdon will start 2016 with a lot more stability than he had starting the 2015 season.

Langdon, who caught on late last season with Don Schumacher Racing, replacing Spencer Massey, has been signed to a permanent full-time ride with DSR for 2016.

Langdon drove the last three seasons for Alan Johnson Racing, including racing under the sponsorship of Al-Anabi Racing in 2013, when he won the Top Fuel championship, as well as 2014.

But Al-Anabi unexpectedly pulled the financial plug less than a month before the 2015 season, leaving AJR to race on a race-by-race basis.

Finally, after the first 18 races of the season and heading into the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff, AJR could not continue and Langdon was temporarily parked.

But not for long as DSR reached out to him to replace Massey, who was released from the team prior to the U.S. Nationals for unspecified reasons.

Langdon, 33, will join 2015 and two-time Top Fuel champ Antron Brown and eight-time and 2014 champ Tony Schumacher as teammates.

“After Pomona last month, Alan and I sat down and discussed 2016 and beyond,” Langdon said, according to RacingJunk.com. “Alan and I decided it was in both of our interests to go separate ways.

“That was tough. I had a great three years with Alan Johnson Racing and being part of the Johnson family. I’ll have special memories for the rest of my life.”

Langdon, who won the 2015 season-ending race at Pomona for DSR, will have veteran Todd Okuhara and Phil Shuler as his new co-crew chiefs at DSR.

“I’m very excited about this new chapter in my life,” Langdon said. “It was perfect to end the season the way we did at Pomona in the Finals. Hopefully, that’s a sign of what’s to come in 2016.”

DSR also announced that it has extended a partnership with Mopar dating back to 2003 on the Funny Car side. That means Jack Beckman, Matt Hagan, Ron Capps and Tommy Johnson Jr. will continue to drive Dodge Charger RTs in 2016.

“We had our most successful season competing in Funny Cars in 2015, and much of the credit goes to Mopar and all of its engineers and technicians who developed the new 2015 Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car body that we used,” Schumacher said, according to RacingJunk.com. “The aerodynamics and new Charger body combined with the power of the Mopar HEMI engine to produce the sport’s quickest times and fastest speeds, and we couldn’t be prouder to be partners with them.”

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Max Verstappen is PointsBet favorite to score sixth staight in 2022 Singapore Grand Prix

PointsBet 2022 Singapore odds
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Max Verstappen is the PointsBet Sportsbook odds favorite to win the 2022 Singapore Grand Prix on the Marina Bay Street course to stretch his current win streak to six consecutive. He shows odds of -200 this week.

Formula 1 did not compete in Singapore in 2020 or 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but Verstappen has podium finishes in his last two attempts on this track. he was second in 2018 and third in 2019. In the first 15 races of this season, he has failed to stand on the podium only twice and has an average finish of 2.73.

With minus odds, the way to determine a payout is by subtraction. In order for a bettor to earn $100, he must wager $200 this week; with that wager, he will get back his initial stake and winnings of $100.

For bettors more comfortable with fractional odds, a bet of +300 is the same as 3/1.

Charles Leclerc is ranked second this week with +400 odds. He has two previous Singapore GP starts to his credit with a best of second in 2019. He is coming off back-to-back podium finishes with a third in the Dutch GP and a second at Monza.

Ranked third is Carlos Sainz, Jr. with a line of +1100. He has top-five finishes in four of his last five starts, but only one of these, a third in the Belgian GP, was on the podium. Sainz is one of four winners other than Verstappen this season. His victory came in the British GP.

Lewis Hamilton shows a line of +1200. His last win came last fall in the Saudi Arabian GP and the Mercedes team has struggled to contend for victory in 2022. They are improving, however, with eight top-fives in the last nine races. Hamilton has two wins in his last three Singapore starts, which came in 2017 and 2018.

Rounding out the top five is Hamilton’s teammate George Russell at +1800. He has not won, but has shown remarkable consistency with top-fives in all but one race. Notably, his only bad finish came in his home GP in England. Russell has one previous start at Marina Bay; he finished last in the 2019 race. He finished fourth in 2019 as part of a four-race streak of top-fives.

The most recent Singapore GP winner from 2019, Sebastian Vettel is a longshot at +50000.

PointsBet is our Official Sports Betting Partner, and we may receive compensation if you place a bet on PointsBet for the first time after clicking our links.

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