Memphis: Morgan Lucas preview

MUGGY MEMPHIS TESTS LUCAS OIL RACING TEAM MEMPHIS (Aug. 16) -- The NHRA teams will be facing some of the toughest conditions on and off the track at this week's O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park on Aug. 19-21. For ...

MUGGY MEMPHIS TESTS LUCAS OIL RACING TEAM

MEMPHIS (Aug. 16) -- The NHRA teams will be facing some of the toughest conditions on and off the track at this week's O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park on Aug. 19-21.

For Morgan Lucas, the heat will be on, as the young 21-year old driver from Riverside, Calif. will be dealing with some of hottest temperatures of the 2005 season and, having slipped a position in the POWERade Top Fuel point standings to sixth, he plans to be hot after his competition. With only six races remaining on the competitive NHRA schedule after Memphis, Lucas acknowledges that it's time to make a move towards the front of the POWERade pack or else start making plans for 2006. It's just getting to that point of the season.

"Our Lucas Oil team ran so well in Brainerd and had consistent runs all weekend," said Lucas. "Now as we head to Memphis, we have another matter to contend with which is the heat. I feel the muggy Memphis conditions will be a test for us. How we ran in St. Louis under similar conditions gives our team a model on how to run our own race. It going to be hard to get our dragster down the track without much tire slippage, but Jim Dupuy and John Stewart (co-crew chiefs) have a plan. We reached the finals in St. Louis and that should show the rest of the field that we're ready for anything that comes our way."

With five final round appearances to his name in just one year of professional NHRA racing under his belt, Lucas will be first to tell you that his sophomore season has the potential to be one of his most satisfying.

"Now that I have a full year of competition, it's good to know that I can go back to the tracks and know what to expect," said Lucas. "When I was going through my rookie season there were so many unknowns, and now we're ready to win and jump back into championship contention.

"We have seven races left and we want to be a player in every one of them. There's no way this crew will ever stop running hard every lap. We're not going to be conservative one bit. Every time we pull up to the starting line, the other teams will know that they had better bring their best game to the race. We'll be ready."

Qualifying for the Lucas Oil Nationals starts on Friday, August 19 with sessions at 5:30 and 8:00 p.m. with Saturday's qualifying at 4:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. Sunday's eliminations start at 3 p.m., CDT, Sunday, August 21.

LUCAS OIL RACING DRIVER NOTES:

Morgan Lucas has five runner-up finishes, which the responsive driver reached in only his seventh, eighth, 10th, 20th and 21st starts. He finished 16th in the 2004 NHRA Top Fuel Point standings with 502 points after competing in only eight races on the 23-race schedule. He is currently 268 points from the 2005 POWERade lead in sixth place with Lucas amassing a total of 980 points after the completion of 16 events.

In the June 6 edition of the renowned Sports Illustrated magazine, Lucas' Top Fuel dragster is featured on the 'American Speed' category section on page 65 displaying the various forms of auto racing.

Lucas' quickest elapsed time is 4.474 seconds, set on Feb. 12, 2005 at Pomona Raceway. He sped to his fastest mile per hour of 328.94 mph set on May 29 in the first round of eliminations at the 2005 O'Reilly Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kansas. He won his first Budweiser low qualifier on May 14 at Atlanta Dragway recording a time 4.541 seconds. Morgan Lucas' first Top Fuel event behind the wheel of the Joe Amato-owned dragster was the 2004 Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd (MN.) International Raceway on August 15, 2004. DOB: November 27, 1983.

-www.morganlucas.com

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Joe Amato , Morgan Lucas