LUCAS RECORDS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE QUARTERFINALS FINISH BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 30) -- For the fifth consecutive NHRA event, Morgan Lucas and his Lucas Oil Top Fuel team were dealt another quarterfinal conclusion at the sixth annual O'Reilly...
LUCAS RECORDS FIFTH CONSECUTIVE QUARTERFINALS FINISH
BRISTOL, Tenn. (April 30) -- For the fifth consecutive NHRA event, Morgan Lucas and his Lucas Oil Top Fuel team were dealt another quarterfinal conclusion at the sixth annual O'Reilly Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Lucas had to fight hard in qualifying, but the Lucas Oil team finished solidly, making it into the field on his last attempt, entering the 16-car lineup in the No. 15 slot with an elapsed time of 4.684 seconds, 296.70 mph. That gave him the opportunity to race the No. 2 qualifier, Hillary Will. It was the second consecutive event that he would face the young rookie in the first round and third time in six NHRA races in 2006 that he would have her in the other lane, with Lucas emerging victorious on each occasion.
He took full advantage of the situation, using every ounce of cleverness to defeat Will in the opening round of eliminations. Using his starting line prowess, he struck first with a .068 light to his opponent's reaction time of .124, an advantage that allowed Lucas to overcome her quicker time and take the win light. Lucas was triumphant with a slower time of 4.612 seconds, 289.20 mph to his rival's quicker, but losing effort of 4.568 seconds, 319.82 mph giving the Brownsburg, Indiana resident a margin of victory of .0125 of a second.
The quarterfinals round of eliminations, however, proved to be Lucas' demise as he raced defending NHRA POWERade champion, Tony Schumacher. With both cars leaving the starting line together, Lucas gave his opponent a strong challenge, however, he just could not match the pace, losing by the very slim margin of .0109 of a second. Lucas ran a time of 4.651 seconds, 293.41 mph to Schumacher's time of 4.638 seconds at a speed of 316.45 mph.
"Last year's streak of not having any first round losses at this point of the season would have us looking pretty good," said the 22-year old Lucas. "This year, there are a lot of guys who are on and some that aren't. We're somewhat in the middle right now. What we need to cure our racing blues are some semi-final and final round appearances. That's what our fans want and getting our name out there surely sells more Lucas Oil. That's the goal I have for this team and I know we'll get there.
"We're trying to run the car and give it what it needs. Sometimes it's difficult when it acts as if it wants something too much. We're learning, but it can be frustrating to figure it all out.
"Overall, I was happy with our first round results. We pulled together as a team and produced our best time of the weekend. I was hoping for a good outing in Bristol. I think we did very well considering the circumstances that were presented to us. I need to work on my reaction times and the team needs to work on the tune-up. We've only been together as a team for six races now and we're taking steps in the right direction. I'm very proud of them."
In the NHRA POWERade points tally, Lucas slips one position and now claims sixth in the Top Fuel standings and has accumulated 332 markers keeping him in the chase for the NHRA title.