LUCAS IN HIS OWN ELEMENT AT MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS DENVER (July 11) --This time every year, Morgan Lucas gets energized as the noted NHRA 'Western Swing' begins. The three back-to-back-to-back events covering the entire northwest have...
LUCAS IN HIS OWN ELEMENT AT MOPAR MILE-HIGH NATIONALS
DENVER (July 11) --This time every year, Morgan Lucas gets energized as the noted NHRA 'Western Swing' begins. The three back-to-back-to-back events covering the entire northwest have Lucas in his own element. His first stop will be the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway on July 14-16, where his final round finish from last year has Lucas focused on completing the job at hand.
"It's my favorite time of the year, said Lucas, who was the runner-up to Tony Schumacher in the 2005 finals. "The air is so thin there you have to be on top of your game. Fatigue is easy if you don't pace yourself, but I'll tell you it's still a lot of fun. It's a beautiful setting along the side the mountain packed with die-hard drag racing fans. I remember going there when I was 13 or 14 years old with Jason Rupert and his alcohol Funny Car. We went to the semis there one time with that car and I thought then how cool the track was. You won't get any arguments out of me - I'm ready for it."
Under these rare conditions of trying to control 8,000 horsepower in such thin air, the NHRA has reduced some of the normal race rules to aid the teams in combating the circumstances.
"They are letting us have our wing back if we so chose to use it and they raised the percentage of our nitromethane fuel to 90 per cent," said Lucas. "You have to change your tune-up around a little bit for that, but it's one of those things where they want to make sure we put on a good race for the fans. Therefore, giving us those things back will help provide a good show. That race track is a lot of fun because it offers us a new challenge and tests the crew chiefs. It's cool also in its own right with things like Joe Amato still holding the speed record there (318.54 mph 1999). How many other racetracks can say that?"
Being part of a racing family himself, he appreciates the Bandimere family and all they have done for sport.
"The Bandimeres are drag racing fanatics," Lucas said. "They put a lot into that race track to give us a good quality facility. The area and community around there supports them and with one visit, you can see why."
The Mopar Mile-High Nationals will begin on Friday, July 14 at Bandimere Speedway with qualifying starting at 5:00 p.m. (MDT) and 8:00 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 3:30 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 6:00 p.m. The race starts promptly at 12 p.m. on Sunday, July 16.