GEICO racer Lucas limps into Charlotte field in final qualifying spot
It was only a few races ago when Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas was on top of the drag racing world after winning the season-opening Winternationals in his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster.
My how the times have changed.
Lucas slipped into the field of this weekend's second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals at zMax Dragway in the 16th and final spot with a laboring 4.012-second pass at 255.73 mph. The run gives him a spot in the field and a chance to compete on Sunday, but he knows beating anyone else on the ladder is going to require some marked improvement from his race team.
"We've always struggled at this track and Dickie (Venables, crew chief) is still trying to find a happy medium with the tune-up," Lucas said. "We have to remember this is only his sixth race with a dragster so there's still lots to learn.
"We're making improvements. That final run was a lot better even though the time slip didn't show a better number. It just takes time and patience."
Adding to the challenge, Lucas will open eliminations against Full Throttle points leader Del Worsham, who pulled off a superb 3.780 at 325.77 mph in the final session of professional qualifying Saturday afternoon, as well as No. 8 and 9 qualifiers Dave Grubnic and Antron Brown. Under the unique 4-wide format, the top two cars from the foursome will advance to Round 2, giving Lucas a fighter's chance.
"It's rough," Lucas said. "I guess you could say that only the strong survive and we will survive this...I don't know. Dickie's not happy, the guys aren't happy, I'm not happy, but you just have to realize this is part of the process and fight through it.
Due to local noise ordinances, the second annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals begin at noon. Elimination action airs in primetime from 7-10 p.m. ET, Sunday, on ESPN2.
-source: morgan lucas PR