DALLAS (Sept. 23) - Morgan Lucas guided the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster to the semifinals and up one spot in the class' championship standings Sunday at the Texas Motorplex.
"If you can average making the semifinals in the first four races of the Countdown, it puts you in good position to make a push in the last two of the season," Lucas said. "We had a good showing. We went down the track all three runs today, which is a more than a lot of people can say."
Lucas opened the day with the second quickest run of the session, laying down a 3.816 at 321.12 mph to get things started. Vandergriff crossed in 3.865 seconds at 317.87 mph.
He followed it up by running the best ET of the second round - 3.865 seconds at 315.34 mph. Todd had no answer and crossed in 3.923 seconds at 312.64 mph.
In the semis against Brown, a dropped cylinder and shredded blower belt was the primary reason why Lucas' march to the finals was halted.
"My crew chief Aaron Brooks and the rest of the guys made all the right calls," Lucas said. "We didn't back into anything today. The when the cylinder dropped; it sheared the teeth off the belt and we were dead in the water. Antron kind of picked our pocket and went around us there at the last minute.
"Sometimes you have to be in the right place at the right time and today it just didn't work out for us."
Brown had his best run of the day to that point against Lucas, running a 3.984 at 303.50 mph. Lucas was still able to run a 3.997 at 280.25 mph, despite the power outage.
"We could have dialed in what we ran the second round," Lucas said. "But we saw the guys in front of us smoke the tires, and Antron hadn't really been down the track at all to that point. We got cautious and it bit us a little bit, but that's just part of it."
Lucas gained a spot in the ever-shifting, ever-tightening Top Fuel standings. He moved into fifth place and is 42 points out of fourth place and a shade less than three rounds (59 points) out of third.
"We're going into the next race with a lot of confidence," Lucas said. "The weather looks like it's going to play to our strengths."
The next opportunity for points starts Friday with the start of the NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motor Sports Park outside St. Louis.
Source: Morgan Lucas