Lucas leads the way in Atlanta after quickest pass of opening day ATLANTA (April 17) -- There must be something in the air at Atlanta Dragway that agrees with Morgan Lucas and his 8,000-horsepower GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster. Four years...
Lucas leads the way in Atlanta after quickest pass of opening day
ATLANTA (April 17) -- There must be something in the air at Atlanta Dragway that agrees with Morgan Lucas and his 8,000-horsepower GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster. Four years ago the youngest driver in the nitro ranks earned his first No. 1 qualifying award at this facility. He returned Friday and opened the 29th annual Summit NHRA Southern Nationals with another huge pass -- a 3.844 at 308.21 mph -- to assume the No. 1 spot yet again.
"When you have conditions like we had out there today, you have to go for it," Lucas said. "It was cool and dry and the air was perfect. It was time to make a good run and the guys came through for me."
Should Lucas hold on to the top spot through Saturday's two daytime qualifying sessions, scheduled for 12:30 and 3 p.m., his race team will have taken the lead qualifying position for two races in a row. At the last stop in Las Vegas, Lucas' teammate Shawn Langdon earned the pole.
"That's the beauty of a two-car team," Lucas said. "The crew chiefs can get together and help each other out. Shawn's car ran great in Vegas and we were maybe a touch over-center with our tune-up. Jimmy (Walsh, Lucas' tuner) doesn't have an ego so he was able to go over there and compare notes with Stewie (Langdon's tuner) and figure out how to fix our problem. It worked perfectly.
"Anything can happen tomorrow but I think we have a good chance of staying No. 1. I don't know if it's going to be as good as it was tonight when the suns beating down on the track. If it is and someone goes quicker, than we should be able to also.
"Nothing's gonna bring me down right now. I'm happy, my dad is happy, and the guys have shaken a big monkey off their backs."
After opening with a 3.912 at 305.98 mph in his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster, Langdon shook his tires in the cooler second session and ended the day ninth on the ladder.
"The track was better than we thought in Round 2 and we just didn't give it enough power," Langdon said. "We should have gotten after it a little more like Morgan did but we're still happy with the car. I know we can move up a few spots tomorrow. I don't think anyone will go 3.84, but we can jump up into the top half of the field for sure."