Seattle is Where It All Began for Morgan Lucas SEATTLE (July 19) -- When Morgan Lucas' NHRA drag racing career started taking an upswing it all began at Pacific Raceways. The 21-year old racer from Riverside, Calif. made his debut behind the ...
Seattle is Where It All Began for Morgan Lucas
SEATTLE (July 19) -- When Morgan Lucas' NHRA drag racing career started taking an upswing it all began at Pacific Raceways. The 21-year old racer from Riverside, Calif. made his debut behind the wheel of the Darien/Meadows Top Alcohol dragster there in 2003 and since then his career has been soaring, almost as fast as his 330 mph dragster. Now instead of just dreaming about what life would be like driving the most powerful race cars in the world; he's doing it.
It's no wonder the talented driver caught the eye of top car owner, Joe Amato. As the most prolific driver in Top Fuel history, Amato quickly saw the young Lucas as a likely candidate to take over the wheel of his powerful hot rod, an observation validated by the fact that this young man, in just 21 races as the pilot of the Lucas Oil dragster has reached the final round five times. However, victory has so far eluded him, and he wants to change all that this weekend at the CarQuest Auto Parts Nationals on July 22 -24, by capturing his first win.
The grinding three races known as the "Western Swing" is notorious for taking its toll on crews and cars, but being a road warrior is only one aspect that Lucas brings to his team.
"I've been doing the swing since I was 13 years old, so this isn't anything new to me," said Lucas. The only thing that is new to me now is that I'm driving a Top Fuel car."
One of the things Morgan has made a prominent mental note about is how the cars will run in Seattle. The track conditions can become treacherous and marginal at best, but driving a Top Alcohol dragster in the NHRA Lucas Oil drag racing series has given him some needed experience of how to negotiate the tricky quarter-mile known as Pacific Raceways.
"Sometimes the air is so good there, you can almost skip a breath," said Lucas, tongue-in-cheek. "There's a lot of oxygen there which builds up the barometer and that's what counts; the cars love it. The trees at that place are like little turbochargers and produce some intense oxygen.
"One thing about the Seattle racing surface is that it can get hot, so you have to tame the engine down just enough to make it down the track. The one that does that best will probably win the race. We had a pretty good record at Pacific Raceways in our alcohol car, but that doesn't count now. We have to get past that and make it happen in Top Fuel."
LUCAS OIL RACING DRIVER NOTES:
Morgan Lucas has five runner-up finishes, which the responsive driver reached in only his seventh, eighth, 10th, 20th and 21st starts. He finished 16th in the 2004 NHRA Top Fuel Point standings with 502 points after competing in only eight races on the 23-race schedule. He is currently 139 points from the 2005 POWERade lead in fifth place with Lucas amassing a total of 826 points after the completion of 13 events.
In the June 6 edition of the renowned Sports Illustrated magazine, Lucas' Top Fuel dragster is featured on the 'American Speed' category section on page 65 displaying the various forms of auto racing.
Lucas' quickest elapsed time is 4.474 seconds, set on Feb. 12, 2005 at Pomona Raceway. He sped to his fastest mile per hour of 328.94.40 mph set on May 29 in the first round of eliminations at the 2005 O'Reilly Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kansas. He won his first Budweiser low qualifier on May 14 at Atlanta Dragway recording a time 4.541 seconds. Morgan Lucas' first Top Fuel event behind the wheel of the Joe Amato-owned dragster was the 2004 Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd (MN.) International Raceway on August 15, 2004. DOB: November 27, 1983.