Morgan says honoring Jeff Byrd his primary goal in Bristol
There are a thousand reasons why Larry Morgan wants to put the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang in victory circle at this weekend's Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Pro Stock race, but only one comes from the bottom of his heart.
As part of the NHRA's 60th Anniversary, Bristol Dragway is honoring Jeff Byrd as this weekend's legend of the race. Before he passed away in 2010, Byrd was the track's longtime president, and a close friend of Morgan's.
There is nothing that Morgan wants to do on Sunday more than hold that trophy in the air and dedicate the win to Byrd's memory.
"Jeff Byrd did more for the NHRA than anyone outside of Wally Parks," Morgan said. "He and I go back almost 35 years and he was the kindest, nicest man you would have ever met. I never met anyone who didn't like him. He was always great to the racers.
"When he worked for Winston, he put his heart and soul into building up drag racing. And he helped make Bristol the track it is today. I really miss him, and really want to win that trophy for him."
To that end, Morgan is letting no detail be too fine ahead of this weekend's race.
"We tested for a day and ran real good," Morgan said. "We got the car back to the shop and tore the engine apart, freshened it all up. And then did the same thing for the rest of the car.
"We've got fresh brakes and new plug wires. The tires and the clutch are broken in. We're not letting anything slip past us. I'm prepared to the max."
He's even found a solution to the spark plug failures that tripped him up last time out.
"I went and bought a pressure tester for my plugs," Morgan said. "Every spark plug that goes in my car this weekend will be tested first. There won't be any fouled plugs in my car this weekend."
Morgan said he's more excited than usual to race this weekend as he has a special connection to the race sponsor.
"The Ford dealers down there are sponsoring the race," Morgan said. "Forrest and Charlotte Lucas are going to be there. There's a lot of stuff going on and I can't wait to get there."
-source: lucas oil racing