Charlotte: Morgan Lucas preview

Playoff charge on Lucas' mind as Countdown to 1 begins CHARLOTTE (Sept. 14) -- Although Top Fuel driver and multi-car team owner Morgan Lucas readily admits that all of his preseason goals have already been met, there's no denying the sport's ...

Playoff charge on Lucas' mind as Countdown to 1 begins

CHARLOTTE (Sept. 14) -- Although Top Fuel driver and multi-car team owner Morgan Lucas readily admits that all of his preseason goals have already been met, there's no denying the sport's youngest nitro driver still has his eyes on the ultimate prize -- a Full Throttle championship.

"Everyone in the playoffs is within 110 points of one another so it's really a wide open deal and that's exciting," the 25-year-old Lucas said. "We have just as good a chance as the other guys so there's no reason not to go for it.

"Our goals for this season were pretty simple: We wanted to win a few races, get both team cars in the Countdown to 1, and have as much fun as possible. We've managed to do all three things and we couldn't be happier. To me that makes us a little more dangerous right now because we're not putting any pressure on ourselves."

Also playing into Lucas' favor is the fact his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster is routinely one of the quickest dragsters in the class. Several times this year, Lucas and crew chief Jimmy Walsh have dialed in the perfect combination for their 8,000-horsepower hot rod and posted the lowest elapsed time of the round, both in qualifying and eliminations.

"The guys have given me a great racecar and Jimmy's been aggressive," said Lucas, who also owns rookie Shawn Langdon's Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster. "If we can minimize our mistakes and keep the right mindset, we can really surprise some people down the stretch here."

Like many of his peers, Lucas is thrilled to be racing at zMax Dragway in the heart of NASCAR country. He's managed to build friendships with numerous NASCAR drivers over the years, mainly through his association with the Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, a charitable event that pits NASCAR drivers against their NHRA counterparts to raise money for the USA Bobsled team.

"It's neat to hang out with guys that live the same sort of lifestyle we do," Lucas said. "We're big NASCAR fans and from what I hear they like watching drag racing. We're all racers at heart and I know the fans in Charlotte are fired up to see how we do it over here in the NHRA. It's going to be a great weekend and hopefully a great start to the playoffs for our GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil race team."

-credit: mlr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon