Huge upset of points leader Dixon highlights Lucas' season BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20) -- GEICO Powersports pilot Morgan Lucas posted his single biggest elimination round win of the 2010 season Sunday at Bristol Dragway when he handily beat runaway...
Huge upset of points leader Dixon highlights Lucas' season
BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 20) -- GEICO Powersports pilot Morgan Lucas posted his single biggest elimination round win of the 2010 season Sunday at Bristol Dragway when he handily beat runaway points leader Larry Dixon. Although he lost to seven-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in Round 2, the victory over Dixon gave Lucas' race team a much-needed boost.
"It's nice to get a legitimate round win, beat somebody huge like that, and feel like you are making progress all at the same time," the 26-year-old Lucas said. "It makes it a great weekend. I makes it where you can't wait to get to the next race.
"This the first time in seven years that Larry lost a race in the first round on Father's Day so it's a pretty big statement for the whole team. Larry is an amazing racer and it's hard to sell that run short. There was a lot of pressure on it."
Lucas certainly responded well to the stress. He left ahead of Dixon, one of the best starting line sharpshooters in the class, by a .070 to .086 second advantage, and never looked back, taking the stripe with his best run of the weekend, a 3.988 at 294.63 mph to Dixon's 4.009 at 298.67 mph.
The GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil team had added noted clutch specialist Rob Wendland to the team prior to this event. Most recently a part of the powerful Don Schumacher Racing camp, Wendland spent numerous years helping 14-time champion John Force win races and titles.
"Rob coming on board to work with Jimmy Walsh is big for us," Lucas said. "I think they're going to work well together and make a big difference with this race car.
"A lot of teams are going with two crew chiefs now and I think it's going to be a huge step forward for this organization. There's a lot of knowledge around and we're happy to add Rob to our group."
The competition certainly didn't get any easier for Lucas after he defeated Dixon as Schumacher, the most prolific Top Fuel driver in history, was next on the grid. Once again, Lucas earned a headstart at the Christmas Tree but this time his hot rod overpowered the racetrack and he was lost in a cloud of smoke. Schumacher won with a 3.977 at 299.60 mph to Lucas' resigned 6.067 at 115.81 mph.
"We can't put a price on data we collected this weekend," Lucas said. "We'll try and take what we learned here and apply it to the next race and maybe make a couple of rounds. I think if we put ourselves in better position in qualifying we'll start having better luck. We're starting to understand what the car wants."
The tour moves directly to Norwalk, Ohio, for next weekend's fourth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals.
-source: powersports racing