Lucas waits out rain in Atlanta for first career victory ATLANTA (April 19) -- The youngest driver in the NHRA's nitro ranks, 25-year-old Morgan Lucas of Indianapolis, scored the first victory of his career late Sunday night at Atlanta Dragway...
Lucas waits out rain in Atlanta for first career victory
ATLANTA (April 19) -- The youngest driver in the NHRA's nitro ranks, 25-year-old Morgan Lucas of Indianapolis, scored the first victory of his career late Sunday night at Atlanta Dragway by taking out top qualifier Spencer Massey in a thrilling finale to the rain-plagued event.
After suffering through hours of delays from on-and-off showers, Lucas and Massey staged one of the most races of the year as both drivers had to get on and off the gas several times to get their cars through the finish line. In the end, Lucas got there first, taking the stripe with a 5.231 at 162.86 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster to Massey's 5.418 at 145.25 mph.
"The TV guys asked me what I imagined my first win would be like and, believe me, I've had five years to think about this so it's something I have imagined quite a few times, but in the end, no matter how it happens, it's an incredible feeling and the party is on," Lucas said. "I probably imagined something a lot prettier than that but we got it done and it's time for this crew to enjoy something they've worked at for a very long time. I hope this is just the first of many we can celebrate together.
"It's very cool to race Spencer because he's a good friend. Selfishly, I would rather be racing my teammate in the final but if not Shawn (Langdon), Spencer is a great one to race. I guess he had trouble too because he told me he got shaken so hard in the middle of his run that he couldn't see. These I know the last 75 feet of the track after our blower belt came off seemed like it took forever."
Lucas beat Joe Hartley, Bob Vandergriff, and Cory McClenathan to reach his sixth final round. This race marked his 107th career start in Top Fuel.
The only regret for Lucas was that his parents, Lucas Oil owners Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, weren't here this weekend.
"I knew that would happen," Lucas said. "This is just a message to them that they better not miss any more races. We need them here with us."
With the win, Lucas moved into the top five on the Full Throttle points and is within five round of leader Tony Schumacher.
Teammate Langdon opened with a strong 3.860 at 312.42 mph to defeat veteran Doug Kalitta, who slowed to a 4.277 at 265.85 mph. That win set-up a quarterfinal race against Massey, who beat Langdon in a heads-up race, 3.851 at 312.71 mph to Langdon's 3.905 at 308.50 mph.
"He'd only run a 3.89 in Round 1 and we figured we could pull it back a bit and play it safe and still be able to beat him," Langdon said. "We ended up being too conservative and he pulled off a great pass and took the win. All you can do is shake his hand and tell him, 'nice job,' and move on to the next race.
"It was still a great weekend for us, once again. We qualified in the top half and won a round on race day so we're maintaining our position with the top teams. We definitely feel like we could have done more but that's drag racing. We'll be ready for St. Louis."
Lucas and Langdon next travel to Gateway International Raceway in St. Louis on May 1-3 for the 13th annual O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals.