Top-half starts in Atlanta favor Lucas and Langdon ATLANTA (April 18) -- For the fourth time in six national events this season, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon will both enter race day as favorites after managing to earn two...
Top-half starts in Atlanta favor Lucas and Langdon
ATLANTA (April 18) -- For the fourth time in six national events this season, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon will both enter race day as favorites after managing to earn two top-half berths on the elimination ladder at Atlanta Dragway.
Lucas' GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster was slightly quicker in qualifying as the 25-year-old pro managed to earn the No. 3 spot with a 3.844 at 308.21 mph. Langdon stepped up in Saturday's heat and posted a 3.886 at 305.36 mph, locking up the eighth position for his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster.
"The car has made significant improvements this weekend," said Lucas, who was the provisional leader Friday night before settling for third place overall. "I'm really happy with everything we're doing right now. The car's not set up to be too aggressive. It's just working the way we need it to work and going down the track every time. It's really fun to drive this thing.
"I feel so confident in the way Jimmy (Walsh, crew chief) is getting after the tune-up. We're doing it the right way, taking our time with the car and not letting little things frustrate us and force us to make bad decisions. We're putting together a solid tune-up that's going to work for a long time and win us some races."
Lucas is set to open eliminations against Joe Hartley, who qualified 14th with a 3.959 at 304.19 mph. Remarkably, this will be the fourth time the two men have matched up in the opening round of eliminations this year. Lucas has won two of the first three head-to-head battles.
On the other side of the ladder, Langdon will square off with Pomona winner Doug Kalitta, who qualified ninth with a 3.891 at 310.41 mph. Langdon and Kalitta have never raced each other.
"We have a great baseline tune-up but we'll have to be up for Doug because he's a great racecar driver," Langdon said. "We put up a good run in Q3 that ended up being the one we qualified with. We came back in the final session and tried to run with the big dogs and just went a bit too far and smoked the tires. So we'll go back to our reliable set-up and try to win the race.
"This is the fifth race in a row where we've qualified in the top half of the field, which is no small accomplishment. It's a real credit to my crew and to everyone in this organization. They've got it together. Now we just need to win a race to make all this hard work worthwhile."