GEICO/Lucas Oil Racing press release
CHARLOTTE (April 9) – Racing the third annual VisitMyrtleBeach.com NHRA 4-Wide Nationals presents some unique challenges for driver and crew chief alike, but Morgan Lucas and the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team plan to conquer those obstacles this weekend with the same precision and consistency that has become the hallmark of the team this season.
"We try to keep everything the same," said crew chief Aaron Brooks. "The car has been running so well this season there's not much reason to switch anything up."
Brooks said the trickiest situation at this particular race is the timing involved in getting four nitro-burning dragster staged.
"Everybody knows how long their prestage routines are," Brooks said. "You know if you need to give a guy an extra 10 seconds or go five second before another. With four cars there's a little more chance for error there.
"We're all right with our setups where if we need to run a little short or a little long, it won't hurt us, but you have to be careful."
The top qualifier at three of the first four races this year, Lucas said when he gets to North Carolina he's going to keep one eye on the staging procedure and the other on the conditions.
"Every time you go up to stage as a driver, you have to pay a little more attention than you normally do," Lucas said. "There's a lot of different elements you have to be focused on.
"We've already made some good runs in the heat so we'll be ready for that if that's what the track throws at us."
Brooks added that the track construction and lane preparation at Charlotte are second to none, but he said there is one factor that might make lane choice a challenge.
"If it's cool and cloudy, it doesn't matter what lane you are in," Brooks said. "Only getting one run on each lane isn’t bad. We've only been there a couple of times when it's been hot, so no one has that much experience on that track when it starts to get greasy.
"Hopefully we'll have lane choice and be able to pick our spot."
Lucas, who is second in the Top Fuel standings – four points behind leader Antron Brown, said the only thing he doesn’t want to change at Charlotte is the success the team has enjoyed so far.
"We're on a good path right now," Lucas said. "It's going to be an exciting event for us, but we just need to keep racing the way we've been racing. Hopefully things will keep falling our way and we'll keep going rounds."