Playoff possibilities continue to unfold for Lucas DALLAS (Sept. 22) -- Top Fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas wasn't very happy to open his first playoff experience with an unlikely first-round loss Sunday in Charlotte, but he didn't have to...
Playoff possibilities continue to unfold for Lucas
DALLAS (Sept. 22) -- Top Fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas wasn't very happy to open his first playoff experience with an unlikely first-round loss Sunday in Charlotte, but he didn't have to wait long to have his spirits lifted and his competitive fire stoked. He plans to carry that renewed energy into this weekend's 24th annual O'Reilly Super Start Batteries NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex near Dallas.
The youngest driver in the sport's nitro ranks at 25 years of age, Lucas' attention quickly shifted to rookie teammate Shawn Langdon's run to the final round in the first of six playoff races. He also noticed Langdon's quick rise in the Full Throttle championship point standings and realized he's still solidly in the hunt for his first NHRA crown.
"The points actually bunched up more than anything else because (former point leader) Antron Brown lost in Round 1 just like us and the other big guns had their own struggles so at the end of the day we're all still right there in striking range," Lucas said. "I have a feeling the entire Countdown to 1 is going to be like this. It's just brutal out there because every round feels like a final, like everything in the world is on the line.
"The NHRA wanted excitement when they implemented the Countdown format a few years ago and they're certainly going to get it once again this year. I look at Shawn and he's two rounds off the lead just like that. It's a wide-open deal for all of us."
This has been a banner year for Lucas. He's claimed two wins in the Top Fuel class to bring his national event victory total to 12, both of his team cars are in the playoff field, and his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster has been the quickest of the class on numerous occasions over the past few months.
"We've accomplished so many goals this year," he said. "No matter what happens from here on out it's been a huge success. But, as racers we always want to reach for the next brass ring. We'd love to turn right around and win Dallas. You can't go backwards in this sport, only forward, and we've already seen the difference one big weekend can make. The bottom line is we still have a lot of racing to do before the season is over.
"The guys on the GEICO team haven't made any mistakes. The car's been a dream to drive. When you go out and run the quickest time of a given session then you know you have a car that can take on the world. We celebrated a win last year in Dallas when our other team car won so we have some good data for the track. I like our chances. We know what to do. We just need to execute."