By Lucas Oil Racing
Lucas liking the view from the top half of the elimination field
Morgan Lucas put the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster into the fifth position Saturday at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, the first time all year he has qualified in the top half of the ladder.
"It's new territory for us," Lucas said. "We're going to get lane choice in the first round Sunday, and it's the product of good, diligent work by the guys."
After both rounds of Friday qualifying were rained out, Lucas and his team had just two chances Saturday to put the car into the field. It turned out not to be an issue as Lucas hit a 3.860-second, 313.88-mph home run his first time on the track.
"All the guys kept plugging away at the car, even when things weren't looking good," said Lucas, a 27-year-old from Indianapolis.
Lucas draws "Aussie Dave" Grubnic in the first round. Grubic's best run was a 3.956 at 298.27 mph.
"Grubby is a tough out and that team can get a good run when they need to," Lucas said. "But that's part of it.
"It's fun racing against friends and Grubby is a great friend."
Lucas said he did his crew chief, Dickie Venables, a bit of a favor by putting the GEICO dragster in a position where he won't be the first or second pair to hit the racetrack on Sunday.
"It's a huge advantage for the crew chief to see how other cars are going down the track," Lucas said. "As far as driving, sometimes it's nice to not give yourself too much time to think, just drive."