HOT'LANTA SHOWS LUCAS OIL RACING'S TRUE GRIT COMMERCE, Ga. (May 7) -- Morgan Lucas' hard-charging driving style during the opening races of the 2005 NHRA POWERade season has given his Lucas Oil Racing Top Fuel team a strong ...
HOT'LANTA SHOWS LUCAS OIL RACING'S TRUE GRIT
COMMERCE, Ga. (May 7) -- Morgan Lucas' hard-charging driving style during the opening races of the 2005 NHRA POWERade season has given his Lucas Oil Racing Top Fuel team a strong toehold on which to stand. The young driver's solid showing of one final round appearance and two semi-final finishes offered them the opportunity to maintain their position of fourth in the Top Fuel standings despite an uncharacteristic performance, and allowed them to concentrate on improving even further.
After the recent string of elimination upsets at the last race in Bristol, which could have jumbled the standings significantly, Lucas survived nicely, despite his first round exit. Entering the seventh race of the season, he faces a 104-point climb in order to get back on top in the Top Fuel championship.
However, even with his early round troubles at the last two events, Lucas has only lost one extra round of competition due to the recent rash of upsets in the Top Fuel class. Therefore, with 16 races remaining on the schedule, the young Californian needs to gain only five rounds in order to overtake current leader Doug Kalitta.
Atlanta Dragway is next in the Lucas Oil Top Fuel team's sights, as they prepare to take on the famous Georgia quarter-mile for the Silver Anniversary running of the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals. It is a race they want to win badly in order to ascend their position up the points ladder.
"We've had our two best qualifying performances in the past two races, and then we go out and have the two worst showings we've ever had in eliminations," said Lucas. "I can honestly say, if we qualify 13th and end up winning the race, I say 'Let's Roll', because I'd take a 'Wally' any day over one of the low qualifier checks.
"Everything is in the shop right now getting torn apart and every time we do that, we come back with a great showing afterwards. I'm looking forward to racing in Hot 'Lanta and our crew shows the confidence it takes to win. I have no doubts about our determination whatsoever about what's going on. I'm willing to do whatever I can to benefit this team to win. They're doing the same thing for me, so we can get that first win as a team in Atlanta. That's why we are a team. We stick together and I feel our first 'Wally' could be coming up very soon.
Qualifying for the 25th Anniversary Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals starts on Friday, May 13 with sessions held at 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Qualifying continues on Saturday, May 14 at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. with final eliminations starting promptly at 11 a.m., Sunday, May 15.
LUCAS OIL RACING DRIVER NOTES:
Morgan Lucas has three runner-up finishes, which the responsive driver reached in only his seventh, eighth, and 10th starts. He finished 16th in the 2004 NHRA Top Fuel Point standings with 502 points after competing in only eight races on the 23-race schedule. He is currently 104 points from the 2005 POWERade lead in fourth place with Lucas amassing a total of 370 points after the completion of five events.
Lucas' quickest elapsed time is 4.474 seconds, set on Feb. 12, 2005 at Pomona Raceway. He sped to his fastest mile per hour of 326.40 mph set on the same qualifying pass at the 2005 CarQuest Winternationals in Pomona. Morgan Lucas' first Top Fuel event behind the wheel of the Joe Amato-owned dragster was the 2004 Lucas Oil Nationals at the Brainerd (MN.) International Raceway on August 15, 2004. DOB: November 27, 1983.