Gainesville: Morgan Lucas Racing Friday notes

Another great start for Morgan Lucas Racing's two-car attack GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Morgan Lucas Racing teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon as both drivers secured starting positions in...

Another great start for Morgan Lucas Racing's two-car attack

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Friday the 13th was anything but unlucky for Morgan Lucas Racing teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon as both drivers secured starting positions in the elimination round of the 40th annual ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Rookie of the year candidate Langdon had the best effort of the two, zipping to a sensational 3.942 at 272.01 mph in Friday's opening round to ultimately earn the fourth spot on the provisional ladder for his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster.

"The engine just barely held together there and I clicked it off early, which is why the speed number is down, but that was a great start to the weekend," Langdon said. "I'm still so new to this that every run puts a smile on my face but to post a 3.94 and know that, barring a miracle, you're already in the show is very cool.

"The car started really moving around towards the top end in Q2 so I clicked it off because I didn't want anything crazy to happen. We do have some great data to work from so we'll get after it again tomorrow and see what we can do."

In Round 2, it was Lucas getting in on the action, posting a steady 3.971 at 295.14 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to take the No. 9 slot.

Both men will have chances to improve their standing Saturday with the final two time trials scheduled for 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Either way, by qualifying in the top 12 Friday, they have both assured themselves of racing for the coveted Gatornationals trophy on Sunday.

"No matter how you get in or what it took to do it, there's no question that you feel a sense of relief to be in top 12 on Friday because then you know you're in the show no matter what," Lucas said. "You don't have to sweat out the weather or anything else. It allows you to take the next step and start fine-tuning the set-up for race day.

"We would have been a lot quicker in Round 2, probably a 3.90 or so, but the it dropped a hole (cylinder) about 300 feet into the run and just limped through from there. Jimmy (Walsh, crew chief) already figured out it was a problem with the slide valve so we'll get that corrected and we'll be good to go tomorrow. I'd be real surprised if we don't both move up."

Coming into this event, the third of the 18-race regular season, Lucas is fifth in the Full Throttle points, while Langdon is eighth overall.

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon