Frank Manzo released from sponsor contract

Lucas Oil grants Manzo release to join Al-Anabi Racing INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 10) -- Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas has granted drag racing legend Frank Manzo's wish for an unconditional release from his current sponsorship contract with Lucas Oil...

Lucas Oil grants Manzo release to join Al-Anabi Racing

INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 10) -- Lucas Oil founder Forrest Lucas has granted drag racing legend Frank Manzo's wish for an unconditional release from his current sponsorship contract with Lucas Oil at the conclusion of the 2009 season. The move allows Manzo to join Al-Anabi Racing as driver of the Al-Anabi Racing Top Alcohol Funny Car and to race for Sheikh Khalid Bin Hamad Al Thani, a member of the ruling family of Qatar.

"Frank Manzo is first and foremost a great friend and he's been an exceptional ambassador for Lucas Oil in our four years together," said Lucas, who began Lucas Oil two decades ago with his wife Charlotte. "The guy is arguably the best drag racer of all time and it's been an honor to have him as part of our team. He will be greatly missed.

"I call Frank my biggest winner because he's won more races with Lucas Oil on the side of his car than anyone else. I know this was a very emotional decision for Frank but we really wish him nothing but the best in his new endeavor. The Sheikh literally made him a deal he couldn't refuse. No matter what, Frank Manzo always has a home here at Lucas Oil."

With 84 national event victories on the Full Throttle tour and 101 event wins in the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, Manzo is far and away the most prolific Sportsman racer in NHRA's 58-year history. His national event total places him fourth in the record books, behind John Force (126 wins), Warren Johnson (96), and Bob Glidden (85).

Manzo also has claimed 12 season titles and 18 divisional championships since he started racing in the mid 1970s.

"Forrest and Charlotte, their son Morgan, and really everyone at Lucas Oil from top to bottom has treated me like part of their family from Day 1," Manzo said. "I can't thank them enough for their support and friendship. These have been the happiest years of my drag racing career. I got very choked up when we met in Indy because they mean so much to me. It's still very hard for me to think about leaving them.

"Like the Lucas family, Sheikh Khalid has made an incredible investment in the sport of drag racing with Alan Johnson's Top Fuel dragster and Funny Car, plus he has a whole fleet of Pro Mod cars, which is what they race the most over there. I'm going to do my very best for him and try to raise some more awareness for motorsports in Qatar."

Lucas Oil sponsors a multitude of racecars, including the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driven by Morgan Lucas and the Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper Top Fuel dragster piloted by rookie of the year candidate Shawn Langdon. Lucas Oil also sponsors the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series as well as the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn. Lucas Oil is the Official Oil of the NHRA.

-credit: lucas motorsports

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Warren Johnson , John Force , Bob Glidden , Frank Manzo , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon