Memphis: Morgan Lucas preview

Late-season test has Lucas prepped for last big push MEMPHIS (Oct. 1) -- Morgan Lucas knows his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster can be the baddest hot rod in the Top Fuel class. On several occasions this year he's ripped down the 1,000-foot...

Late-season test has Lucas prepped for last big push

MEMPHIS (Oct. 1) -- Morgan Lucas knows his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster can be the baddest hot rod in the Top Fuel class. On several occasions this year he's ripped down the 1,000-foot drag strip with the quickest elapsed time of the round, a feat that tells his opponents how serious his team is about winning races.

"If there's one thing we've proven in 2009 it's that no one should ever take us lightly," said Lucas, who at 25 years old remains the youngest driver in the nitro ranks.

That point was hammered into the record books in Atlanta and Brainerd, Minn., when his group ended race day in the winner's circle. Those two wins, combined with the fact both of the dragsters he owns made it into the Countdown to 1 playoff had Lucas declaring the season an unparalleled success, even before the post-season began.

However, racers are wired differently from normal folks and it didn't take long for Lucas to eye the next goal -- winning the Full Throttle championship. To that end, Lucas remained at the Texas Motorplex after last Sunday's race to test his rail. The session was a big success and with the current NHRA limitations on testing, the fact his team had a day left to try things out this late in the year was looked at as a true bonus.

"We figured out a lot of things Monday," Lucas said. "We've had a great car for several races now but there's always room for improvement. Jimmy (Prock, crew chief) wanted to try some things out so we made a few passes and everything worked out real well.

"Right now, we're two races into the Countdown with four races left so it's a free-for-all to the finish. My teammate Shawn Langdon is ahead of us in the points (in fifth place) so he's the primary focus of everything we do. We tested things for them as well. But we're not giving up on this side of the pit by any means. We're going to do everything we can to win these races down the stretch. The main thing is delivering for our sponsors and fans."

Heading into this weekend's 22nd annual O'Reilly Midsouth Nationals at Memphis Motorsports Park, Lucas is 148 points off the Top Fuel lead. Langdon, who drives the Lucas Oil/Dixie Chopper dragster, is just 84 back of the top spot.

"We've seen several races this year where there are swings of three or four rounds in one day," Lucas said. "That's 80 points right there. I don't think you go into a race thinking you can make up that much all at once but it does happen. The more realistic thing is to try and go a round or two more than the guys in front of you at each race and try to be there at the end. That's the gameplan."

-credit: nhra

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas , Shawn Langdon