Morgan logging hundreds of miles to race Charlotte's quarter mile CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 25) -- Lucas Oil racer Larry Morgan isn't above driving his own rig to the drags, but even the 24-year veteran who is rapidly closing in on 500 career...
Morgan logging hundreds of miles to race Charlotte's quarter mile
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 25) -- Lucas Oil racer Larry Morgan isn't above driving his own rig to the drags, but even the 24-year veteran who is rapidly closing in on 500 career starts admits this week has tried his patience.
Preparing for the inaugural NHRA 4-Wide Nationals, which start Friday in Concord, N.C., Morgan stopped off at Rockingham Dragway to test his powerful 500 cubic inch Ford powerplants. But a bizarre twist of events led to both of his primary engines breaking, forcing the 55-year-old to pull an all-nighter and drive back to his shop in Newark, Ohio, for some last-minute repairs.
"It feels like I've got the devil riding with me," Morgan said. "I've never experienced anything like this. We unloaded for the test and hurt out No. 1 motor right off the trailer in our first run. Then we were making awesome passes with the second one, which I'd re-done since Gainesville, and I was on pace for a 6.66 when it got dinged.
"I had no choice but to scramble back home and get these things fixed, back on the dyno, and loaded back up so we can get to the race. We're scrambling like crazy because we know we need to be sharp when we get to Charlotte. Everyone wants to win this race because it's the first time we've ever run four cars wide."
Morgan began his first professional campaign in a Ford Mustang this February with a great semifinal showing at the Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., but since then he's battled hard to get his new combination to run consistent passes. His endeavor with Ford is the first concerted effort for the brand since Bob Glidden was reeling off world championships in the 1980s.
"We knew it wasn't going to be easy," Morgan said. "But nothing worth having in this sport is easy. We've got all the support we need from Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and the folks at Ford have been awesome to work with. They really want to see us succeed. You can't have a professional class with only one company winning every darn race. The fans don't want to see that.
"We'll be up there running with the big dogs soon enough. Of course, as a racer you want everything right now but realistically we knew it would take time and we'd have some growing pains. Right now, the biggest pain is going to be in my back after sitting behind the wheel all these miles, but we'll be there ready to race."