Playoffs off to a quick start for Morgan Lucas Racing drivers CHARLOTTE (Sept. 18) -- Morgan Lucas Racing Top Fuel racers Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon weathered the first day of the 2009 Countdown to 1 playoffs with some decent, if not ...
Playoffs off to a quick start for Morgan Lucas Racing drivers
CHARLOTTE (Sept. 18) -- Morgan Lucas Racing Top Fuel racers Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon weathered the first day of the 2009 Countdown to 1 playoffs with some decent, if not spectacular, passes down beautiful zMax Dragway.
After some early-morning showers, team owner Lucas did the best of the two on the freshly-scrubbed racetrack, running a 3.875 at 313.22 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to earn the No. 6 position in the provisional Day 1 field. Langdon followed with a 3.918 at 286.13 mph in Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster, which placed him 14th overall.
"We didn't get down the track in Round 1 and that hurt us a little bit," Lucas said. "We came up in Round 2 knowing we needed to get the car down the track because who knows what the weather will do tomorrow. We had to make absolutely sure we got in the field and we did that.
"We're chasing the championship right now and you have to race smart. We could have gone up there (in Round 2) and tried to run a 3.80 but at times like this the smart thing to do was go for the lay-up instead of the slam dunk."
Like Lucas, Langdon also encountered some problems in the first session although his opening pass of 3.957 at 282.84 mph gave the team enough data to incrementally improve in Round 2.
"The motor wasn't happy in the last few hundred feet in that first session and we actually were on a much better run than a 3.91 in Round 2 but it pitched the (blower) belt off down at the other end," Langdon said. "That probably cost us a few hundredths of a second at least.
"The thing I'm happiest about is that I had two really good lights (reaction times) today so I know where I'm at with my driving. Everything has taken on an added level of importance now that the Countdown has started and I want to be at my best."