Lucas and Medlen Quickest During NHRA Pre-Season Testing at Las Vegas LAS VEGAS -- Second-year drivers Morgan Lucas and Eric Medlen, both candidates for the 2004 Auto Club Road to the Future Award which was won by Pro Stock driver Jason Line,...
Lucas and Medlen Quickest During NHRA Pre-Season Testing at Las Vegas
LAS VEGAS -- Second-year drivers Morgan Lucas and Eric Medlen, both candidates for the 2004 Auto Club Road to the Future Award which was won by Pro Stock driver Jason Line, were quickest during NHRA pre-season testing at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The weekend test is the first of three scheduled sessions prior to the start of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season. The season opens Feb. 10-13 with the CARQUEST Winternationals at historic Pomona (Calif.) Raceway.
Lucas, who raced to runner-up finishes in Top Fuel during the final two events of '04, powered his Joe Amato-owned Lucas Oil dragster to a weekend best of 4.573 seconds at 306.33 mph. Medlen, who posted one victory in two final round appearances during his rookie season behind the wheel of John Force's Castrol Syntec Ford Mustang, covered the distance in 4.744 seconds at 326.40 mph for his best effort of the three-day test.
Force was second-quickest in Funny Car, as the 13-time NHRA POWERade world champion posted a 4.747 at 329.75 in his Castrol GTX Start Up Mustang.
Force's new driver also turned heads during the test with a solid performance. Leading '05 Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Robert Hight was impressive behind the wheel of the Auto Club Mustang, as he powered to a weekend-best performance of 4.750 at 330.55. Hight's unofficial speed puts the rookie in good company: only four Funny Car drivers -- Force, Whit Bazemore, Gary Scelzi and Tony Pedregon -- have posted speeds in the 330 mph zone during POWERade Series competition.
Team Schumacher Funny Car drivers Bazemore (4.750 at 328.06 in the Matco Tools Dodge Stratus), Scelzi (4.766 at 326.71 in the Mopar/Oakley Dodge Stratus) and Ron Capps (4.759 at 326.32 in the Brut Dodge Stratus) posted quick and fast performances. Tommy Johnson Jr. drove Don Prudhomme's Skoal Chevy Monte Carlo to a weekend best of 4.785 at 325.69, while Checker Schuck's Kragen Monte Carlo drivers Del Worsham (4.795 at 323.35) and Phil Burkart (4.845 at 318.17) also logged consistent performances.
Four other Top Fuel drivers participated in the test, including David Baca, Gary Ormsby Jr., Brady Kalivoda and Mike Strasburg, most working on 60-foot and half-track shutoff runs.
NHRA pre-season testing continues this weekend at Firebird International Raceway at Phoenix. NHRA teams will make their final preparations for the '05 season during the "Last Chance" test session, Feb. 4-6 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The following represents each driver's best run and top speed during NHRA pre-season testing, Jan. 21-23 at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
<pre> TOP FUEL
Psn Num Driver ET Spd Top Spd 1 743 Morgan Lucas 4.573 282.54 306.33 2 704 Gary Ormsby Jr 4.876 238.47 238.47 3 72 Mike Strasburg 5.270 194.44 194.44 4 797 David Baca 6.022 141.49 141.49 5 53 Brady Kalivoda 7.361 112.10 112.10
Psn Num Driver Car Type ET Spd Top Spd 1 5 Eric Medlen '02 Ford Mustang 4.744 324.20 326.40 2 1 John Force '04 Ford Mustang 4.747 325.85 329.75 3 7000 Robert Hight '02 Ford Mustang 4.750 330.55 315.87 4 6 Whit Bazemore '04 Dodge Stratus 4.750 328.06 328.06 5 28 Ron Capps '04 Dodge Stratus 4.759 326.32 326.32 6 3 Gary Scelzi '04 Dodge Stratus 4.766 326.71 326.71 7 503 Tommy Johnson Jr. '05 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4.785 325.69 325.69 8 2 Del Worsham '04 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4.795 323.35 323.35 9 10 Phil Burkart '04 Chevrolet Monte Carlo 4.845 318.17 318.17