Denver: Team Lucas Friday notes

Team Lucas wanting more after late-night party in Denver DENVER (July 10) -- Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas waited out a lengthy rain delay to finish up Friday's qualifying action at the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA ...

Team Lucas wanting more after late-night party in Denver

DENVER (July 10) -- Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas waited out a lengthy rain delay to finish up Friday's qualifying action at the 30th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals just before the stroke of midnight.

Side-by-side in the fourth pairing of the race's first session of time trials Friday afternoon, Langdon opened with a 4.218 at 286.80 mph in the Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster, while Lucas went 4.236 at 272.61 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster. But just after they exited the track it started raining heavily, forcing a delay of several hours.

"Denver is a tough track to race because it's the only time all year we're at altitude and the tune-up is totally different here," Lucas said. "If we lost a qualifying round it would have really hurt us. Hanging around this late wasn't fun for the guys but it was important for us to get the data."

Returning to work at 11:30 p.m., Langdon zipped to a much-improved 3.982 at 309.63 mph down Bandimere Speedway. The run placed him sixth overall at the midway point of qualifying.

Lucas wasn't as fortunate, fighting an ill-handling race car most of the way down the 1,000-foot course. But some expert driving by the five-year pro successfully kept Lucas' rail in the lane so he could post a slightly better 4.170 at 282.54 mph.

"It made a big move right at the hit and it was a real handful," Lucas said of his second run. "I knew it wouldn't we a great run but I did want to leg it out so Jimmy (Walsh, tuner) could have some more information for tomorrow."

A Top Fuel newcomer, Langdon had a more eventful day, not for what actually happened on the race track but for what he thought was going on with his 8,000 horsepower hot rod.

"Morgan told me before my first run that the car would feel like a Top Alcohol Dragster instead of a Top Fuel dragster because the altitude slows them down so much," said Langdon, a leading candidate for rookie of the year. "But man, I never expected it to feel like that. It seemed like it took forever to get down the track. It's amazing how different it felt.

"Your instincts tell you it's slower than normal and you think something is wrong with the engine, so you feel like you should get off the accelerator so you don't blow it up. But Morgan had prepared me for what it would feel like so the whole way down I was thinking, 'it's okay, it's okay, stay after it.' It picked it up in Round 2 but still felt slow. But hey, we ended up doing pretty good so I guess it all worked out.

"This is one more thing I can cross off my 'new guy' list. Now I've gone down Bandimere in a Top Fuel dragster."

-credit: lor

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon