Morgan to debut new car in Vegas, but he'll be driving his old one
LAS VEGAS (Oct. 24) – As the 2011 NHRA Full Throttle Drag Racing Series season winds down, Lucas Oil Ford driver Larry Morgan already has his eyes in 2012.
Morgan hopes to unveil a new Ford Mustang at this weekend's Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. But Morgan won't be driving it. Instead, young gun Buddy Perkinson will be breaking in the new car for Morgan.
"The car's for me, but Buddy can break it in for me," Morgan said. "We're working on 2012 already. Hopefully, this new car will run well, and we'll come out firing in the new year. New cars always need a little work before they're at their best, and this is a way for us to make sure the car will be right for next year."
Since the Lucas Oil hauler headed straight for Las Vegas after the Phoenix race two weeks ago, Morgan and his team went home to Newark, Ohio, to work on the new car and a new engine.
"We're trying to get another motor together," Morgan said. "And we may get another older car to have Buddy run in Pomona. The bottom line is I've got a brand-new car, and I went home to work on it."
Morgan returns to Vegas after a first-round loss in Phoenix, which came at the hands of eventual winner Vincent Nobile. The early exit came on the heels of first-round wins in the previous two races as Morgan builds momentum for 2012.
He hopes for a better performance at Vegas than earlier this year, where he qualified No. 15 and fell to Jason Line in the first round. Still, Vegas is near the top of his list of favorite tracks, mostly because it is owned by Speedway Motorsports' Bruton Smith.
"It's a good track," Morgan said. "If it's a Bruton track, it's a good one. He just does a good job, and he knows what he takes to make everybody happy."
Gambling at Las Vegas' famous casinos can make some drag racers happy, but don't count Morgan among them.
"I'll gamble if I have to," Morgan said. "I'm not afraid, I can tell you. But I'm not that big of a gambler. I do like Vegas, though. It's a fun town."