Las Vegas: Morgan Lucas preview

LAS VEGAS JACKPOT AWAITING LUCAS LAS VEGAS (April 5) - It may only be the fifth NHRA race of the season, but the action on the quarter-mile has never been hotter. Only 11 markers separate second to fifth in the POWERade Top Fuel...

LAS VEGAS JACKPOT AWAITING LUCAS

LAS VEGAS (April 5) - It may only be the fifth NHRA race of the season, but the action on the quarter-mile has never been hotter.

Only 11 markers separate second to fifth in the POWERade Top Fuel standings and 22-year old dragster driving Morgan Lucas is right in the midst of the battle with 229 points. It's very important to Lucas that his Lucas Oil team performs and keeps him in the thick of things at this weekend's Summitracing.com Nationals on "The Strip" at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

"In 2004 we won the spring race in Vegas with our Alcohol dragster," Lucas said. "After last week's Houston race, we're looking forward to having some dry air to make more horsepower. We're going to get serious with our racing deal, trying to win a few rounds and stay in contention in the points. We're 11 points out of second right now and that's a big deal to me because the entire top 10 is so tight. We want to keep moving forward, not the guy falling back.

"Everyone says that once you get your first win, the second one comes a lot easier. As hard as we're working for this first one, it's only a matter of time before we see our fourth win light on race day. In addition, you have to start thinking about points. Any ground you lose now makes it just that much harder to catch up later."

In his opening round win over Tony Schumacher in Houston, Lucas experienced a dramatic wheel-standing run, with the nose pointing skyward as it raced towards the finish line. Because of the damage incurred during the landing, the team has to bring out a new car, which tested Monday with positive results for race competition.

"It's a Brad Hadman chassis, an identically matching car to the one we had before," said Lucas. "But no two cars are the same, so we'll have to learn what it wants. We have data from the shake down runs in testing and now we can try to get after it. I don't mind going to the second round, but now it's time to try to catch Melanie (Troxel, the current points leader who sits 139 away from Lucas).

The start of the Summitracing.com Nationals begins on Friday, April 7 with qualifying starting at 3:30 p.m. (PDT) and 6:30 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 12:30 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 3:30 p.m. The race starts promptly at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 9.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Morgan Lucas