Norwalk: Morgan Lucas preview

Lucas in much better shape on this visit to Norwalk NORWALK, Ohio (June 21) -- A year ago, Top Fuel racer Morgan Lucas entered the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals fighting to get into the top 10. This time, a much-improved Lucas and his...

Lucas in much better shape on this visit to Norwalk

NORWALK, Ohio (June 21) -- A year ago, Top Fuel racer Morgan Lucas entered the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals fighting to get into the top 10. This time, a much-improved Lucas and his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster team arrive in Northern Ohio just one round out of the coveted top five.

What a difference a year makes.

Under the guidance of crew chief Jimmy Walsh, Lucas, who at 25 years of age is the youngest racer in the nitro ranks, finds himself solidly in the running for the Countdown to 1 playoffs and a chance at the 2009 Full Throttle championship. His car is winning eliminations rounds at virtually every stop on tour and he even scored his first national event victory in Top Fuel earlier this season in Atlanta.

"Clearly, we're having a much better season this year," Lucas said. "What's exciting to me is that even though we're in a lot better place than we were a year ago, I really feel as though we're not even close to reaching our potential.

"Once we get some solid consistency with the tune-up and reach a point where we can run down the track under full power every single pass, the sky is the limit. The best thing to happen to us this year is that we've proven to ourselves we can run with any team out there. That has all of us really pumped up."

The son of Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, the founders and owners of Lucas Oil Products, Morgan appreciates Summit Motorsports Park and the people that work at the facility for much more than it's smooth race track.

"The Bader family loves drag racing as much as my family does and that passion comes through in everything they do," Morgan said. "This is one of the finest independently-owned race tracks in the world. They take such good care of the racers when we're there and when you talk to the fans, they feel just as welcome. Heck, you don't even need to be a race fan to enjoy the track with all the fireworks and other things they've got going on. That alone makes it a very special place to me.

"The are re-surfacing some of the track to make it even better than it was before, which should play right into our hands. It's awesome when you can go to a track and really pound on it because it's so well prepared. All we need to do is hope for good weather and we should be fine."

Lucas currently is sixth in the world rankings; just 20 points behind fifth place Cory McClenathan. His teammate, Shawn Langdon, is just one point behind Lucas in seventh place.

Qualifying begins with two sessions at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday.

-credit: mlr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon