Lucas' Race Day Spoiled by Baca COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) -- After grabbing the pole position for Sunday's Summit Equipment Racing Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway, Morgan Lucas had such high hopes of winning his first ever NHRA POWERade...
Lucas' Race Day Spoiled by Baca
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 15) -- After grabbing the pole position for Sunday's Summit Equipment Racing Southern Nationals at the Atlanta Dragway, Morgan Lucas had such high hopes of winning his first ever NHRA POWERade Top Fuel event. The Lucas Oil Top Fuel team brought out a brand new Hadman chassis for the race and crew chief, Wayne Dupuy made the right choice when Lucas verified its performance rather quickly with his first ever low qualifier time of 4.541 seconds and a career best tying speed of 326.40 mph.
However, heading into eliminations, Lucas had to wait several hours due to persistent rain that only built up his anticipation for the race. In the first round, Lucas was going into his 15th race of his young professional career against No. 16 qualifier, Bobby Lagana. After the burnouts, problems developed for Lagana providing Lucas with a free pass and a first round win. He ran a time of 4.637 seconds, 312.35 mph. advancing him to the quarterfinal round to face opponent, David Baca.
As that race time approached, storm clouds built up in the Georgia skies again delaying the race proceedings even longer with a brief rain shower. Once the clouds had passed and track crews dried the racing surface, Lucas and Baca squared off in a tight quarter round battle, one of the closest side-by-side races of the day. Baca reacted slightly quicker off the line and maintained a lead, which Lucas couldn't overcome, but still ran a very respectable time in the race. Baca recorded a time of 4.602 seconds, 323.43 mph to Morgan's elapsed time of 4.628 seconds, 315.42 mph. The margin of victory was .0381 of a second.
"Our new car is running great," said Lucas. "Our worst pass of the whole weekend was 4.76 seconds, so we're happy about its performance. Today, it was just a close race with Baca. It was a drag race, but you just hate to lose all the way around. Baca has the word 'spoiler' on the side of his car and that's exactly what he did today; spoil our day. That's racing. It was a 4.50 racetrack and we didn't shine when we needed to today. We win as a team and lose as a team, and Baca made his best pass of the weekend against us."
Lucas might have slipped in points with his early round exit, but not in position in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings after the completion of the eighth race of 23 National events. He has amassed 428 points and maintains his fourth position, but now has 159 points to overcome for the championship lead.
The next NHRA event is next weekend for the Pontiac Performance Nationals at the National Trail Raceway near Columbus, Ohio, initiating on May 20-22.