Defending Brainerd champion dreams of repeating the feat BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 11) -- Morgan Lucas had an unforgettable experience the last time he visited Brainerd International Raceway. The youngest professional in the nitro ranks was the No....
Defending Brainerd champion dreams of repeating the feat
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 11) -- Morgan Lucas had an unforgettable experience the last time he visited Brainerd International Raceway. The youngest professional in the nitro ranks was the No. 1 qualifier at his parent's title race and managed to blaze through a crowded field of first-rate drivers on race day to claim the coveted Top Fuel trophy.
It was, in Lucas' own words, "a dream weekend from start to finish."
On the eve of the 29th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, Lucas says the only thing that could be better than last year's big win would be repeating the feat this time through in his 8,000-horsepower GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster.
"There's a lot of pressure on this team right now," Lucas said. "And most of it comes from what we've put on ourselves. But that's okay because in the past we've always been out our best when the pressure is at it's highest. We can handle the heat.
"It's no secret we've struggled at times this year but in this sport you're never more than one race away from being right back on top of the world. I can't think of an event with more significance than the one with the family business in the name of the race. We'd really love to turn in a big performance in Brainerd."
Lucas and teammate Shawn Langdon already have locked up their spots in the Countdown to 1, the NHRA's version of the playoffs, which begin at the next national event in Indianapolis. Even so, they know hitting the ground running for the final six races would help tremendously, adding even more significance to the Brainerd race.
"We figured out some things in the fuel system we think have been holding us back," Lucas said. "It's had us chasing all kinds of things in the tune-up. Now, I think we'll be strong and if we can get off to a solid start and make the right adjustments along the way, we should be in the mix.
"I love this race, even if you take out the upcoming playoffs and us being the defending champions. It's just an awesome place to be and the fans are unreal. There's no one heading to the exits early at this race. These people are as diehard as it gets. Plus, everyone is super friendly and in a party mood. It's so cool."
Lucas and Langdon will be joined in competition by Morgan's mother Charlotte, who will race her Lucas Oil Super Comp dragster at this weekend's event.
"Mom's fired up," Morgan said. "She's ready to get after it and, the way she's driven the car the last few times she's been behind the wheel, she should have a good weekend. We'll all be pulling for her."
-source: powersports racing