Lucas muscles up standings while Langdon falls early in Houston HOUSTON (March 29) -- Top Fuel pro Morgan Lucas powered his way into the No. 6 spot in the Full Throttle championship points with a quarterfinal run at the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA...
Lucas muscles up standings while Langdon falls early in Houston
HOUSTON (March 29) -- Top Fuel pro Morgan Lucas powered his way into the No. 6 spot in the Full Throttle championship points with a quarterfinal run at the 22nd annual O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals. The driver of the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster beat David Baca in the opening round before falling to six-time world champion Tony Schumacher in Round 2 despite running an identical ET and top speed.
Across the pit at Morgan Lucas Racing, Shawn Langdon exited in the opening round after smoking the tires of his Lucas Oil/Dixie Choppers dragster in a race against veteran Cory McClenathan.
In one of the more interesting contests of the season, Lucas and Schumacher, the most prolific Top Fuel racer in history, both pedaled their ways to 4.434-second passes at 230.37 mph. But the win light went to Schumacher based on his quicker reaction time of .078 seconds to Lucas' .106.
"I'm a little mad at myself because even a mediocre light (reaction time) would have easily won that race," Lucas said. "It's cool that we moved up in the points and I'm happy that both cars are running strong because I think as we start racing under hotter conditions there will be a premium on going from A-to-B every run. Still, I feel like my driving is hurting the team. I've been going backwards lately."
It's natural for Lucas to beat himself, especially after establishing himself as one of the best reaction time specialists on tour last year.
"I need to get back in that groove again," Lucas said. "You can't think too much about it or it only gets worse so the thing to do is practice like crazy and make it second nature."
Lucas had a great start against first-round foe Baca, leaving in .068 seconds to Baca's .105-second launch. He then blazed away to win by more than two seconds.
Earlier in the first round, Langdon used the best reaction time of the entire session -- .051 seconds -- to dust McClenathan at the tree, but his car was soon lost in a haze of tire smoke and he could only watch helplessly as McClenathan streaked away for an easy win.
"It's puzzling because we were one of the few cars that went straight down the track every run in qualifying," Langdon said. "It was completely unexpected for us to smoke the tires like that. There's not much you can do when you loose traction that early and once I saw he was on a good run I didn't bother getting back in it because there was no way to catch him. We'll just have to start all over again Friday in Las Vegas."
The NHRA tour quickly moves to The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway next weekend for the 10th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals.