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'DOING IT FOR DARRELL' IS MORGAN LUCAS' MOTIVATION Lucas Oil Racing Driver Only Eight Points Out of Top Fuel Lead HOUSTON (April 1) -- For the past two weeks, since his quarterfinal round finish at the Gatornationals , Morgan Lucas has been...

'DOING IT FOR DARRELL' IS MORGAN LUCAS' MOTIVATION
Lucas Oil Racing Driver Only Eight Points Out of Top Fuel Lead

HOUSTON (April 1) -- For the past two weeks, since his quarterfinal round finish at the Gatornationals , Morgan Lucas has been anxiously awaiting to get back in the driver's seat of his Joe Amato-owned Lucas Oil dragster and he has eight perfectly good reasons to feel that way.

It's the number of points he trails NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points leader, Tony Schumacher by as the 21-year old Lucas is heading into the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park. His standing of second in the points tally is giving Lucas more of an inducement to proceed to the next level -- as a Top Fuel winner, joining the ranks of that prestigious society.

However, that incentive is by no means his real inspiration to win the Houston race, but rather his achievable goal is to give the trophy to Darrell Russell's wife, Julie at the end of the day at HRP. Russell, whose tragic death last June in St. Louis in a high-speed racing accident, suddenly vaulted the promising Lucas Oil Drag Racing series Top Alcohol driver into the forefront of the Top Fuel arena in Joe Amato's dragster.

"We want to do it for Darrell, so I have a good feeling about Houston," said Lucas, who has three runner-up final round appearances, incredibly in only 11 starts. "I think we're going to win our first one there. That would be huge to me, Darrell's family will be there, Julie will be there, all his friends and fans will be there; it would be a dream come true to win it for them. Another reason I want to win it for Darrell is personal because of the influence he had on me and so many other people. He's been a huge motivation for this team to keep going and keep doing a good job. We're all working hard to do this for him. Our first win will be for Darrell. I can only imagine something like this could happen for us, so I better be on my game."

Although Lucas feels his first breakthrough victory is nearby, he has only minimum track time compared to most of his peers, he knows HRP has plenty of grip and great air, the perfect combination for his racecar.

"We can put down a lot of power on the track and if we can get it to bite; I think we can go out there and run 4.45 or 4.46 elapsed times and keep up with Schumacher. I think we can beat them by just flat-out drag racing for it. If I do my job on the Tree and Wayne (Dupuy, crew chief) gets the car to run the way we all know it can then everyone else is going to have a lot to worry about that weekend."

It will be quite the busy Houston racing weekend for Lucas as he will have a lot on his mind and in his heart, but throughout it all, he and Joe Amato team will be "Doing It for Darrell".

LUCAS OIL RACING DRIVER NOTES:

Morgan Lucas has three runner-up finishes, which the responsive driver reached in only his seventh, eighth, and tenth starts. He finished 16th in the 2004 NHRA Top Fuel Point standings with 502 points after competing in only eight races on the 23-race schedule. He is currently eight points from the 2005 POWERade lead in second place with Lucas amassing a total of 223 points after the completion of two events.

Lucas' quickest elapsed time is 4.474 seconds, set on Feb. 12, 2005 at Pomona Raceway. He sped to his fastest mile per hour of 326.40 mph set on the same qualifying pass at the 2005 CarQuest Winternationals in Pomona. Morgan Lucas' first Top Fuel event behind the wheel of the Joe Amato-owned dragster was the 2004 Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd (MN.) International Raceway on August 15, 2004. DOB: November 27, 1983.

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Joe Amato , Morgan Lucas