Test session lifts Lucas' confidence heading into Texas
HOUSTON (April 26) – The decision for an Top Fuel team to use one of its precious few test dates allowed by the NHRA is both excruciating and obvious.
Morgan Lucas and the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster team stayed behind after the recently-completed Charlotte race and used one of those valuable test dates to straighten out some problems they've had since winning the season-opening race in Pomona, Calif.
The youngest son of Lucas Oil founders Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, Morgan said that while the temptation was there to keep that test in pocket for use down the road, there were issues that had to be resolved ahead of this weekend's O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals.
"We felt like we didn't have a choice but to test after Charlotte," Lucas said. "We looked at it like we started off strong in California but we've had some struggles since then and we needed to try something to fix the car."
After that win in Pomona, Lucas has suffered three first-round losses in a row thanks in large part to mechanical issues, dropping him from first to eighth place in the Top Fuel points. However, Lucas said crew chief Dickie Venables and co-crew chief Kurt Elliott seem to have ferreted out the problems with that extra day on the track.
"The biggest issue we've had is that the car flames out cylinders," Lucas said. "The move they made in testing really did help. It went the right direction. It went on all eight (cylinders) every lap we made, and we made a couple of decent runs. We were really encouraged because we've always had trouble getting a handle on that track.
"We're going to Houston with some real confidence."
The biggest issue we've had is that the car flames out cylinders.
Lucas said the team is bracing for the first real hot and sticky weather conditions of the season.
"We're pumped to get there," Lucas said. "We've got some good data from the test. Right now we're still getting the dragster learning curves out of the way for Dickie and we know it'll be hot in Texas, but we'll survive and give all these guys a run for their money."
On Thursday, Lucas will appear with other NHRA stars at an autograph session at Houston's Minute Maid Park, which starts at 6:30 p.m. ahead of the baseball game between the St. Louis Cardinals and host Houston Astros.
-source: morgan lucas racing