Indy ORP: Morgan Lucas preview

Indy boy Lucas braces for 'crazy busy, fun weekend' INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 31) -- Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas knows this weekend's 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will be a weekend to remember regardless of what happens...

Indy boy Lucas braces for 'crazy busy, fun weekend'

INDIANAPOLIS (Aug. 31) -- Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas knows this weekend's 55th annual Mac Tools U.S. Nationals presented by Lucas Oil will be a weekend to remember regardless of what happens on the racetrack. But the two-time 2009 winner, who claimed his latest trophy a few weeks back in Brainerd, Minn., also knows a big Labor Day in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster could change his life.

"This race means so much to drag racers," Lucas said. "It's certainly one you want to win at some point in your career. Living here, it takes on even more significance because all your friends and family are here wishing you well. You want to show everyone a good time and there's nothing better than a winner's circle party.

"The two wins we've had this year have been special. Atlanta was cool because it was our first in Top Fuel. Then we go to Brainerd and just out-perform everyone. There were no lucky breaks, red lights, people smoking their tires or blowing up, we just had the best car that day. It was a dream weekend with mom and dad there and being a Lucas Oil race. I don't know if I'll ever be able to top that.

"But winning Indy, well, that just might beat it all."

Although he downplays the significance of his family name, especially in the Hoosier State, Lucas knows all eyes will be on his two-car team over the course of the weekend. Lucas shares his pit with teammate Shawn Langdon, who drives the flagship Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster.

"Since my folks signed on as sponsors on the Colts stadium in downtown it's really raised the profile of our company, especially in Indianapolis," Lucas said. "When you meet people and tell them your name the immediate question is, 'Are you related to the people that have the football stadium?' It's like, 'yeah, that's mom and dad.' My parents are socialites here now. It's pretty funny.

"Indy is always a hectic weekend for us and after the stadium deal went through it just exploded. There are more demands on my time than usual and you kind of just have to put your head down and plow through it all. It makes for a crazy weekend."

In prerace testing, Lucas and crew chief Jimmy Walsh spent the majority of their time fine-tuning the same tune-up they rode to victory in Brainerd.

"The car has been running so well we didn't feel like we needed to change anything," Lucas said. "We're in such a good place right now we're not setting any more goals. We're just going to do the best we can every race and see where it falls. I don't want the guys to feel like we have to push it any more than we already have been. Everything's working so good right now. There's no need to change the way we're doing things.

"It's important to keep our sponsors happy. It's important to continue to produce a good return on investment for GEICO Powersports, Toyota, Dixie Chopper, and of course, Lucas Oil. If we can eliminate first and second round losses then we'll be in the hunt, but I'm not going to think about running for the title right now. It's just not in my head."

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas