Joliet: Morgan Lucas preview

Lucas locked in on shortening the gap between wins CHICAGO (June 2) -- Earlier this year Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas realized a lifelong dream when he hoisted the hardware at Atlanta Dragway. It was his 11th national event victory but his first...

Lucas locked in on shortening the gap between wins

CHICAGO (June 2) -- Earlier this year Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas realized a lifelong dream when he hoisted the hardware at Atlanta Dragway. It was his 11th national event victory but his first at the top level of the sport, and although at age 25, Lucas is the youngest professional in the nitro ranks, the win was a long time coming as it took him four years and 107 professional starts to get it done.

He's not expecting the second one to take as long.

Entering this weekend's 12th annual United Association NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in the Chicago suburb of Joliet, Ill., Lucas and his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil teammates are ready to experience the euphoria all over again. What has the group excited is they truly feel like they have the car to get it done.

"The people and pieces are all in place," Lucas said. "It's a matter of lining them up just right on race day. We were able to do that in Atlanta and it was a moment I will never forget. You are literally buzzing for hours and even days after you win. It's like no other feeling I've ever experienced. I think it's safe to say we're ready to get that feeling back."

With a steady 11-9 record in eliminations at the midway point of the 18-race regular season, Lucas is a solid sixth in the championship points, tied with teammate Shawn Langdon. Another win would most likely move him up two spots to fourth.

"At the start of the season we discussed some strategy for the team," Lucas said. "The first thing you have to do to have a shot at the championship is to qualify for the playoffs, so getting both of our cars in the top 10 and keeping them there was the first goal. We're right on track in that regard, so we're super pumped about that.

"After Indy, the points will reset and it's basically a six-race sprint to the finish line then. I'm positive all 10 teams that make the cut will be capable of winning it all. It's a matter of getting on a roll at the right time. That's kind of where we're at right now; we're looking for consistency out of the tune-up so we can run with anyone.

"It's one thing to be the quickest and fastest car on the planet, but the guy that wins the race is usually the one that gets down the track every pass and puts the pressure on his opponents to come out and try to beat them. If we can stay patient and keep within that thought process, the sky is the limit. It worked for us in Atlanta and it can work for us in Chicago also."

Qualifying begins at 3:30 p.m. Friday.

-credit: mlr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon