Lucas get GEICO dragster into show in style
READING, Pa.(Oct. 1) – Morgan Lucas stepped to the plate in the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster late in Saturday's qualifying for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway, made a big swing and connected to go from out to No. 8 in Sunday's eliminations.
"We're blessed with a great team that just doesn't stop," Lucas said. "We made a few tweaks to the car from Friday. We're just excited to be in the show right now."
Lucas' qualifying times from Friday were thrown out because he didn't make the top 12 in the first day of qualifying. His third qualifying round was thrown out by an NHRA penalty after the engine dropped oil onto the track. That fourth round pass was do or die for Lucas.
"In Q3 we were on a good run, but broke a spark plug," Lucas said. "We prayed about Q4. Talked to the car about it in a little meeting, then the car coughed up at good run and held everything together."
When the scoreboards lit up after Lucas crossed the finish line, he recorded a 3.814-second pass at 319.67 mph, getting into the field a week after a DNQ in Dallas.
"Sometimes you make your own bed with bad situations," Lucas said. "In Dallas we got behind the 8-ball and never got around it. This weekend we're back in a much better situation."
Lucas will likely be in the first pair to race on Sunday morning against No. 9 qualifier David Grubnic, who had a top lap of 3.818 seconds at 316.97 mph.
"I would be nice to win a round or two tomorrow, but we're really focusing on going down the racetrack and keeping all the parts looking nice," Lucas said. "Making progress is the goal, but if we can get a round win and get some of the points we missed in Dallas back, that's all the better."
Eliminations for the Auto-Plus NHRA Nationals get underway at 11 a.m. EDT Sunday from Maple Grove Raceway.