Hot track stings Lucas in quarterfinals LAS VEGAS (April 18) -- On the Las Vegas strip, sometimes you beat the house, and sometimes the house beats you. On Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Morgan Lucas and his GEICO ...
Hot track stings Lucas in quarterfinals
LAS VEGAS (April 18) -- On the Las Vegas strip, sometimes you beat the house, and sometimes the house beats you.
On Sunday at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, Morgan Lucas and his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster were able to get a first-round victory before busting out in the second round.
The 11th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals was the first race of the season that the GEICO Powersports team had to face the kind of hot, greasy track normally associated with a mid-summer race.
Tuning the car when the temperatures soar can be like throwing darts in the dark. Lucas' team hit the mark in the first round as he beat Troy Buff with a lap of 3.994 seconds at 300.93 mph, one of just four three-second laps in the round. Buff's pass was a 4.117 at 278.81 mph.
"We were happy we won the first round, but more happy that the car is going down the track a lot better," Lucas said.
In the second round, the track temperature soared to 130 degrees, and Lucas was matched against Doug Kalitta.
"The track seemed like it went away really fast in the heat and we smoked the tires," Lucas said. "We had even backed the car down, but didn't back it down quite enough for what was out there."
Kalitta ran a 3.982-second pass at 309.20 mph as Lucas smoked the tires early and coasted to a 5.909-second run at 111.54 mph.
"We're still learning this new combination that we're trying," Lucas said. "It's going in the right direction and we're competitive. We just need to improve on a few things here and there."
Up next for the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil team is the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals April 30-May 2 at Gateway International Raceway outside of St. Louis.