MORGAN LUCAS UPHOLDS SECOND PLACE IN NHRA POWERADE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE BAYTOWN, Tex. (April 10) -- For Morgan Lucas, the regret of not bringing home the championship trophy at the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park...
MORGAN LUCAS UPHOLDS SECOND PLACE IN NHRA POWERADE CHAMPIONSHIP CHASE
BAYTOWN, Tex. (April 10) -- For Morgan Lucas, the regret of not bringing home the championship trophy at the 18th annual O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park was very apparent from the look on his face after being defeated by friend and rival, Cory McClenathan in the semi-final round of eliminations. All week long, his motivation was to win it for his personal hero and local Texas racing marvel, Darrell Russell, who lost his life in a racing accident last year in St. Louis, and the turn of events, which led him into the Top Fuel seat that he now occupies. With Russell's wife, Julie in attendance to show her support to the Lucas Oil/Joe Amato team, his main objective was to be in the Winner's Circle to give her his first trophy in honor of her late husband.
Although, that moment will have to wait, he still drove his heart out and did a magnificent job behind the wheel of his powerful 8,000 horsepower Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster at the O'Reilly Spring Nationals qualifying sixth in Sunday's lineup with a time of 4.540 seconds, 325.30 mph, and his best speed of the meet.
In the first round of eliminations, Lucas powered his dragster past a tire smoking, David Baca taking the win light buzzing the clocks with a time of 4.560 seconds at a speed of 325.30 mph. The quarterfinal round he defeated Doug Herbert putting up his best time of the day with an elapsed time of 4.552 seconds, 321.88 mph to Herbert's elapsed time of 4.580 seconds, 323.43 mph.
It was the semi-finals that he fell victim to Cory Mac, where the pair left the starting line together only to have Lucas to lose traction at the mid-track point. McClenathan ran a time of 4.589 seconds; 322.42 mph to Morgan's coasting E.T. of 7.226 seconds, 107.84 mph.
"Yeah, I'm disappointed," said Lucas. "In qualifying I could catch every tire shake issue with the brake handle, but this time for some reason the last one caught me off guard. The car was running like a bracket car in the first two rounds.
"We win as a team and we lose as a team and we have 19 more races to go. I'm sure (Tony) Schumacher (NHRA POWERade points leader) will have a first round loss or two before the year is out, but we'll be back into contention. When we win our first 'Wally', Julie is still getting that trophy. Hey, maybe we'll get on a hot streak and win five in a row, you never know. It's all drag racing and you have no room for error and we made an error today and so goes the story. That's racing."
Lucas now trails Schumacher by 52 points (349-297) as the NHRA POWERade tour heads west to 'The Strip' at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway for next week's event, the Summitracing.com Nationals on April 15-17. In last fall's race, Morgan made it through eliminations into his first final round appearance in only his seventh professional start.