Sonoma: Morgan Lucas Racing final report

Teammates end Wine Country trip a little too soon SONOMA, Calif. (Calif.) -- A promising Sunday at Infineon Raceway ended a bit too early for Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon. After qualifying in the top half of the field, both...

Teammates end Wine Country trip a little too soon

SONOMA, Calif. (Calif.) -- A promising Sunday at Infineon Raceway ended a bit too early for Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon. After qualifying in the top half of the field, both men fell victim to a loss of traction in their elimination races, Lucas in the quarterfinals and Langdon in the opening session.

After running the quickest elapsed time of Round 1 in defeating Doug Kalitta with a 3.870 at 308.21 mph to Kalitta's 3.940 at 309.63 mph, Lucas seemed in prime position for a big day in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster, especially considering his second-round foe was part-timer Mike Strasburg. But just a few hundred feet into his race against Strasburg his car started spinning its tires, allowing Strasburg by for the stunning upset.

"We just over-estimated the track," Lucas said. "We were so pumped up after that first-round run. Jimmy (Walsh, crew chief) backed it down a touch to compensate for the heat but we wanted to stay fairly aggressive also. We danced a fine line and slipped a little too far to the aggressive side, that's all.

"I don't regret anything that happened this weekend. In fact, I'm really excited about the way both cars are running right now. We just need to keep after it and things will fall our way at some point."

With half the drivers ahead of him in the Full Throttle points out of the race in Round 1, Langdon had a golden opportunity to make up some serious ground in the world rankings. Unfortunately, despite posting the best reaction time of the entire session, Langdon's Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster lost traction just enough to allow opponent Clay Millican by for the upset win.

"I've run enough passes now where I can sense what happened at the Christmas Tree as I go by it and I really felt like I'd beaten Clay off the line," said Langdon, who enjoyed a .048- to .075-second advantage at the start. "From there we were cruising along and I felt like I had the thing won, but right when it locked up one-to-one the tires starting hazing. I pedaled it real quick but Clay got around me and took the win."

At the finish line, Millican crossed first with a 4.113 at 256.89 mph ahead of Langdon's 4.113 at 256.89 mph.

"At least with Larry (Dixon), Brandon (Bernstein), and Spencer (Massey) all losing in the same round we won't lose any ground to them but you hate passing up a chance like we had today," Langdon said. "That's drag racing."

The tour takes two weeks off before the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in mid August in Brainerd, Minn.

-credit: mlr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Strasburg , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon