Pomona: Morgan Lucas final summary

LUCAS REACHES SEMI-FINALS IN NHRA SEASON-OPENING WINTERNATIONALS POMONA, CA. (Feb. 12) -- Morgan Lucas reached the semi-finals in his first outing as the driver and team manager of his Lucas Oil dragster, losing to eventual race winner...

LUCAS REACHES SEMI-FINALS IN NHRA SEASON-OPENING WINTERNATIONALS

POMONA, CA. (Feb. 12) -- Morgan Lucas reached the semi-finals in his first outing as the driver and team manager of his Lucas Oil dragster, losing to eventual race winner Melanie Troxel in a great side-by-side drag race at the 46th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at Pomona Raceway.

Lucas reacted first and up until the halfway point of his quarter-mile race he led only to drop a cylinder, with the resulting loss of power setting him in arrears to Troxel, who recorded a time of 4.553 seconds, 324.12 mph to Lucas's elapsed time of 4.754 seconds, 290.88 mph.

Lucas qualified 13th after running a time of 4.579 seconds, 323.66 mph and faced rookie, and No. 4 qualifier Hillary Will in the first round of eliminations. In this match up, the consistently loping Lucas began his day by leaving the line first, never having to look back, and completed his run of 4.567 seconds, which was the second quick ET of the round with a near personal best record speed for Morgan of 324.75 mph.

In the quarterfinal round pairings, Lucas was determined to defeat Rod Fuller and easily made his way past, allowing Fuller to see plenty of the Lucas logo in front of him as the 22-year old driver from now, Brownsburg, Indiana took the round win. He received the win for light running his best time of the entire racing weekend of 4.545 seconds, 321.27 mph to Fuller time of 4.585 seconds, 320.43 mph.

The POWERade Top Fuel points standings finds Lucas tied for third place with 71 points along with Doug Herbert after the first of 23 events that make up the NHRA schedule.

"Leaving Pomona in third place probably surpasses any goals I set this weekend," said a smiling and happy Lucas. "I didn't set any objectives on how I would finish this weekend, but for our first time out, I thought winning first round would be a feat. To do what we did today is great. We found a big problem in the fuel system and fixed it.

"That goes to show you the grit and determination of John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson (co-crew chiefs) and I cannot say enough good things about them. They continue to impress me; they have a good handle on what's happening with our team. They work so well together that it makes me feel very comfortable going into race day."

Morgan's next race will be the Checker Schucks Kragen Nationals at the Firebird Raceway in two weeks on Feb. 24 -- 26.

-lor-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Herbert , Melanie Troxel , Morgan Lucas , Rod Fuller , Hillary Will