By lucas oil racing
Semifinal finish Lucas' best since season opener
Morgan Lucas piloted the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster to its best finish since the season opener Sunday at the fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in northwest Ohio.
Lucas reached the Top Fuel semifinals, the first time he's lasted this long since he won the NHRA Winternationals in February in Pomona. But despite the success, the weekend left Lucas wanting more.
"The car was doing great, and the guys are doing an outstanding job," Lucas said. "The more laps you make on the track, the quicker we're going to get, the more stuff we're going to learn, and the more of a threat we're going to be on everybody else."
Lucas faced Del Worsham, the NHRA Full Throttle Series points leader, in the semifinals. Worsham got the win when Lucas jumped the gun by -.076 seconds.
"I'm just kind of bummed with my red-light in the semis," he said. "I went up there, and I let a long tree get the best of me.
"That's the up-and-down side. Sometimes it'll work to your benefit and sometimes it's going to work against you. You get those people who try to get that edge like I was. I just need to get a little more control."
Lucas started the day be beating Dave Grubnic. Lucas ran a solid 3.908-second pass at 303.71 mph, while Grubnic ran a 3.983 at 256.41 mph. In Round 2, Lucas put teammate Shawn Langdon and the Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster back on the truck with a pass of 3.964 seconds at 296.63 mph. Langdon smoked the tires at the hit of the throttle and coasted through with a 7.998 at 88.89 mph.
Lucas' red light lap was a 4.037 at 270.43 mph, which all added valuable data to GEICO dragster's logbook.
"Had I not two-stepped it, it probably would've run a low .90 or a high 3.80," Lucas said. "It was running really good. We made some big moves to try to make it run the way we wanted it to, and it responded. I just two-stepped it at the hit."
Lucas said the more consistent the car runs, the more he'll be able to get in his opponents' heads on race day.
"We're going to start getting mental wins when people see how we're running and start red-lighting against us or smoking the tires," he said. "We've got to make that progress."