LUCAS SET FOR HARD RACING IN HOT'LANTA COMMERCE, GA. (May 3) -- With the legacy of the likes of Georgia's Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit roaming through the Peach State hills, the speedsters of the NHRA are heading southbound for...
LUCAS SET FOR HARD RACING IN HOT'LANTA
COMMERCE, GA. (May 3) -- With the legacy of the likes of Georgia's Dukes of Hazzard and Smokey and the Bandit roaming through the Peach State hills, the speedsters of the NHRA are heading southbound for the Atlanta Dragway's 26th annual Summit Racing Southern Nationals on May 5-7, setting the stage for some hard racing in Hot'lanta.
Throughout the history of the NHRA, the annual trek through Dixie is always one the racers enjoy and one particular driver, 22-year old Morgan Lucas is just finding out why on his own.
"Actually, I love going to Georgia," said Lucas, who is beginning his second complete season on the NHRA tour and starting up his new Lucas Oil drag racing team in 2006. "I've traveled to different parts of the state, but everywhere I have been, it's beautiful and the people are nice. The fans are always fantastic with a great turnout for the race."
After the completion of six races of the 23 that make up the NHRA schedule, Lucas has run quite competitive but, been saddled with one semi-final and five consecutive quarterfinals finishes
"All I want to do is race our Lucas Oil dragster and get it back to head of the pack," stated Lucas. "We want to qualify better and which will enable us to place ourselves back in the Big Bud Shootout chase and right now we're planning on doing everything we can to get back in the points hunt.
"Atlanta is a flat track and we're hoping that will solve our problem of dropping cylinders. I had my first No. 1 qualifier there doing it on the final qualifying session. The car ran great, plus it was a brand new car, so, we were pretty happy with that. We need to go to the semis, final rounds if we're going to get back in this points chase. Everyone recognizes that and we're working hard to over come out setbacks."
Lucas did have one occurrence during his time in between the Bristol and Atlanta NHRA races that gave him a lifetime memory. He was able to meet his NASCAR hero, Dale Earnhardt, Jr. during a recent test session at the Lowe's Motor Speedway.
"That was something I had always wanted to do," said a smiling Lucas. "I was a big fan of his dad and to meet Dale Jr. was a thrill. I know he was very busy, but he took time out of his testing schedule in between runs to say hello.
The start of the Summit Racing NHRA Southern Nationals begins on Friday, May 5 with qualifying starting at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) and 7:30 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 12:30 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 3:30 p.m. The race starts promptly at 11 a.m. on Sunday, May 7.