Morgan Lucas preseason testing summary

LUCAS REELS OFF A 4.52 ET IN PRESEASON TESTING POMONA, Ca. (Feb. 5) -- The start of the 2006 NHRA season cannot come quickly enough for 22-year old Morgan Lucas as he visualizes his championship-caliber Lucas Oil Racing team quickly becoming...

LUCAS REELS OFF A 4.52 ET IN PRESEASON TESTING

POMONA, Ca. (Feb. 5) -- The start of the 2006 NHRA season cannot come quickly enough for 22-year old Morgan Lucas as he visualizes his championship-caliber Lucas Oil Racing team quickly becoming one of the favorites to make an assault on this year's NHRA POWERade Top Fuel title.

On his last attempt on his final day of testing at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix, he made his first full pass of 2006, recording a time of 4.52 seconds, at a speed of 323 mph.

That gives him even more incentive to get behind the steering wheel as the season kicks off this Thursday for the 46th annual CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals on Feb. 9-12 at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.

"The car was running early numbers showing us it was capable of that type of performance," said a happy Lucas briefly describing the long climb to get to this point. "It finally went out and made the forward strides we were hoping it would. We now have a race car going into Pomona and that's the biggest thing. I wasn't going to be content going into the first race of the season until we got a decent lap under our belt. We've got it now and the car ran excellent."

In the beginning, the team had to deal with the typical new car blues, but through the efforts of co-crew chiefs, John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson, they meticulously sculptured a plan, slowly gaining access to the knowledge needed to get their Lucas Oil dragster to perform. Through two test sessions, they steadily gained on the tune up and feel they now have a springboard to thrust them into the championship hunt.

"Sometimes things don't make sense, but you give the car what it wants," said Lucas in describing their hit and misses on the tune up. "It demands more fuel at times, more clutch weight at others, but so far, it's worked for us.

"Stewie and Ronnie have been working their butts off. When you have a new team like this, you have to let the crew gel, they have put together a great group of guys with personalities to match, and they work well together. Our Lucas Oil team wants to win and that is why I feel we will succeed.

The start of the 46th annual CarQuest Auto Parts Winternationals begins on Thursday, Feb. 9 with qualifying starting at 2:30 p.m. (PST). The schedule follows the same format for Friday with qualifying continuing at 2:30 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 12:00 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 3:00 p.m. The race starts promptly at 11 a.m. on Sunday, February 12.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas