Bristol: Morgan Lucas preview

Lucas still buzzing over recent win, improved performances BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 11) -- They say you never forget your first NHRA victory, and that's certainly been the case for Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas. Although it's been a little more than...

Lucas still buzzing over recent win, improved performances

BRISTOL, Tenn. (May 11) -- They say you never forget your first NHRA victory, and that's certainly been the case for Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas. Although it's been a little more than three weeks since Lucas and his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil crew celebrated their big win in Atlanta, the excitement is still palatable at Morgan Lucas Racing in Indianapolis.

"We're sky-high, no doubt," said Lucas, the youngest nitro racer on tour at 25 years of age. "For one, we proved to ourselves we can do it, which is huge. The other thing is the dragster is running so well and so consistently right now that we truly feel another win is right around the corner. It's an awesome feeling to have.

"I've had times in the past where I've dreaded going to the next race but now they can't come soon enough. It seriously wouldn't surprise anyone on this team if we won this weekend's race in Bristol. That's how good we're feeling right now."

Lucas isn't just intoxicated by his first career win. His performances bear out his optimism. He followed up his Atlanta success with a low qualifying effort in St. Louis, the third of his brief career, and crew chief Jimmy Walsh and his talented teammates have given him a racecar that's earned a top-half starting slot in five of the first seven races this year.

"I don't know if I could even describe the feeling you have when you pull through the gates of a racetrack knowing you have the team and the car to win the race," Lucas said. "That's not to say you're going to win, but when you have all the pieces to win in place, it's such a huge boost. Everyone on this team is feeling it."

Aside from his car's performance, Lucas also is doing well behind the wheel, leaving the starting line ahead of his opponents more often than not. It's something he takes great pride in, and it provides fodder for an in-pit rivalry with rookie teammate Shawn Langdon.

"Me and Shawn push each other," Lucas said. "The first thing every round in qualifying is to see who had the best light (reaction time). We have some unique side bets going, trust me. On race day, you always look for the win light first, but after that we're comparing reaction times, for sure. It sure can't hurt to have the little rivalry we have.

"I'm really excited about showing Shawn Thunder Valley. He's never raced a Top Fuel car there and he's only had one or two passes at night so he'll get a dose of both this weekend. It's a special place and I know he's going to dig it.

"As for our team, we're fired up to race. The best is yet to come. I feel like Atlanta was just the start of something big for us."

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon