Gainesville: Morgan Lucas Racing Saturday report

Langdon, Arana carry Lucas Oil flag into race day at Gators GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Lucas Oil teammates Shawn Langdon and Hector Arana both earned the No. 4 position in their respective fields and enter Sunday as favorites at the 41st ...

Langdon, Arana carry Lucas Oil flag into race day at Gators

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- Lucas Oil teammates Shawn Langdon and Hector Arana both earned the No. 4 position in their respective fields and enter Sunday as favorites at the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals.

A second-year Top Fuel pro, Langdon's Lucas Oil/Speedco dragster is one of the most consistent rails on the property, while Arana opened defense of his Full Throttle championship with a run that has his Lucas Oil Buell in range of a national record.

"This is probably the highest confidence level I've ever had in a racecar," Langdon said after his 3.829 at 317.12 mph. "We've always had a pretty good car but we've never put up the huge ETs and speeds like we are now. I'm so proud of the crew because we've given Lucas Oil, Speedco, and all our fans a big reason to smile.

"We know we've got a competitive car and we have a helluva chance to win this race tomorrow. To get my first Top Fuel win at the Gators would be so cool. This race has so much history and it's one of the top three tracks on my favorites list, Pomona and Indy being the others. It would be tremendous to win here and get a win in the books this early in the season."

One of the youngest racers in the nitro ranks, the 27-year-old Langdon will begin his quest for the Gatornationals trophy against 81-year-old legend Chris "the Golden Greek" Karamesines, who has been drag racing since the 1950s.

Arana already owns the current Pro Stock Motorcycle elapsed time record of 6.851 seconds, which he ran at Memphis Motorsports Park last October. He is one of a handful of riders capable of bettering that mark during Sunday's eliminations, a feat worth 20 bonus points.

"The conditions are great and we have an opportunity to see a record," said Arana, who went 6.881 at 193.05 mph during qualifying. "The Suzukis are running good and also the Harleys, but I'm not going to worry about records or any of that. I'm going to stay within my program and work on getting this bike off the starting line. I'm here to win the race. That's the focus for me.

"I'm struggling with the starting line. (NHRA) is using a different VHT (traction) spray and we're not figuring it out just yet. I still feel comfortable and I know I can run a 6.84. I just need to get the starting line figured out."

Arana's first round opponent will be L.E. Tonglet, who qualified 13th with a best of 6.962 at 192.33 mph.

Larry Morgan, driver of the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang Pro Stock car, failed to qualify for the event.

-source: morgan lucas racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Morgan , Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon