MORGAN LUCAS STEPPING QUIETLY INTO THUNDER VALLEY Remembers Dale Earnhardt Day on April 29 BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26) -- With his ranking of fifth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points standings, Morgan Lucas is stepping quietly into the...
MORGAN LUCAS STEPPING QUIETLY INTO THUNDER VALLEY
Remembers Dale Earnhardt Day on April 29
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 26) -- With his ranking of fifth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel points standings, Morgan Lucas is stepping quietly into the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway on April 28-30. Lucas' first trip to the picturesque track might not have been as successful as he had wished; however, in 2006 he's determined to change that around keeping his streak of advancing past the first round alive, which almost without a sound has placed him right in the midst of the competitive points chase.
"We want and need to keep going rounds to stay in the points," said Lucas. "We brought out 'new pipe' (new car) for the Las Vegas race after our Houston wheel-stand and we're still trying to figure out what the car wants. We have a great Lucas Oil team wrenching on our hotrod and we're hoping Bristol is going to be our breakout race. We have been calmly staying in the points hunt, but after maintaining that pace, we know we need to step it up a notch and make some of own noise."
That cacophony of sound starts in qualifying where last year Lucas blistered the Thunder Valley quarter-mile with an elapsed time of 4.561 seconds, 325.61 mph to take the No. 2 starting position.
"It was a great place to start the race, but this year, hopefully we'll have better weather giving us more opportunities," said Lucas, who remembered in 2005 that qualifying came down to just one pass. "What we learn from qualifying definitely gives us the knowledge how the track conditions will affect our race setup."
As another part of his visit to NASCAR country for the Bristol NHRA event, Lucas will be honoring his racing hero, the late Dale Earnhardt by carrying the No. 3 decal on his 325-mph dragster as part of the commemoration of Dale Earnhardt day on April 29, his birthday. On next Tuesday, Lucas will go to the Lowe's Motor Speedway to meet his son, Dale, Jr. during a test session for the upcoming Coca-Cola 600.
The start of the O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals begins on Friday, April 28 with qualifying starting at 5:30 p.m. (EDT) and 8:30 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 1:00 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 3:30 p.m. The race starts promptly at 12 noon on Sunday, April 30.