Brainerd, Minn. - The good omens keep stacking up for Morgan Lucas and the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team.
Brainerd International Raceway and the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals have long been Lucas' home away from home, and a No. 4 qualifying effort paired with a late Saturday afternoon rain shower have him brimming with confidence heading into Sunday's eliminations.
"I'm real excited about it," Lucas said. "We still had some fuel system woes, but we're slowly but surely getting them resolved. The car is starting to feel like it wants to run right now.
"Last time we won here, it rained on Saturday afternoon. Maybe it's a good sign for us, I don't know. There's no reason to think we can go out and win this race."
Lucas qualified with a best pass of 3.800 seconds at 322.81 mph. He races Steve Torrence, whose best lap was 3.896 seconds at 308.99 mph, which was good enough for the No. 13 spot.
"That pass felt great," Lucas said. "Just the way it moved early and moved between the cones, you could notice the difference between that and the way the car has been the last two months.
"That's what you want. It's an incredible feeling when the car lives up to its potential."
Lucas can clinch a spot in the Countdown with a first round win on Sunday or if either Clay Millican or Bob Vandergriff, who both qualified in the bottom half of the ladder, lose in the first round. Lucas said he wants to get in the Countdown with a win, but knows he'll have his work cut out for him.
"The guys have been doing a great job of keeping their heads up," Lucas said. "It's tough to draw a guy like Steve, because he's been doing so well all season. They struggled in qualifying, but it doesn't mean they can't step up tomorrow in eliminations.
"We just have to be on our game, get down the track and do what we know it takes to win."
Eliminations for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. CDT on Sunday.
Source: GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team