LUCAS MAINTAINS FIFTH POSITION IN NHRA POWERADE TOP FUEL STANDINGS HOUSTON (April 2) -- For the third consecutive NHRA race, Morgan Lucas and his John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson directed Lucas Oil team advanced to the quarterfinal round of ...
LUCAS MAINTAINS FIFTH POSITION IN NHRA POWERADE TOP FUEL STANDINGS
HOUSTON (April 2) -- For the third consecutive NHRA race, Morgan Lucas and his John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson directed Lucas Oil team advanced to the quarterfinal round of competition in Sunday's O'Reilly Springnationals eliminations at Houston Raceway Park and maintains his position in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings claiming fifth.
In his first round of competition, Lucas managed to defeat his recent archrival, Tony Schumacher for the first time since the Memphis race in August of 2004. When the starting lights turned green, it quickly became a pedaling contest as both cars lost traction in the early stages of their runs. Lucas did everything he could to make sure his dragster reached the finish line first including a wheel-standing exhibition that bent both A-frames and broke one of his front wheels. He did proceed upwards on the Top Fuel ladder by winning with an elapsed time of 5.563 seconds, 214.14 mph to Schumacher's languishing time of 6.271 seconds, 234.17 mph.
"We're now officially 2 to 10 against him," Lucas said with a smile. "It's always good when you can catch a break. We have not had the best of luck against those guys, so we have to get those wins when we can. We qualified well in the field although it was a last ditch effort. On our wheel-stand, we damaged a few chassis parts and had to change many things. We were fortunate to make it up for the second round and I'm proud of our crew for their hard work. They kept going and going and would not accept 'no' for an answer. We're going to get our second car out of the trailer and test tomorrow getting ready for the Las Vegas race."
The team quickly made repairs to the Lucas dragster in the 75-minute span between rounds and made it up to the line to meet Brat Pack friend and rival, Brandon Bernstein.
Bernstein's Budweiser/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster and Morgan staged up at the starting line when the ill-fated truth became rapidly apparent as Lucas smoked the tires against his foe. Lucas coasted to a time of 7.051 seconds to Bernstein's run of 4.544 seconds, at an event fastest speed of 332.10 mph.
"We're playing with the tune up trying to find ways of making things run better in certain areas, but it takes a lot of work," said Lucas. "Some things work at certain tracks and we're still acquiring data. We're four races into the season and I think we are doing pretty well since we have not been beaten in the first round. We're building a foundation and all of our sponsors appreciate what we're doing."
Morgan's quarterfinals finish kept him in contention for the POWERade championship and although he has earned 229 points for his team's efforts, he is only 11 points out of second and trails points leader, Melanie Troxel - finalist in all the races so far in the 2006 Top Fuel season by 139 points.