Lucas Oil Racing press release
Lucas gets GEICO dragster into ultra-quick Top Fuel field
CHARLOTTE (Sept. 17) – The GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster team experienced some tense moments Saturday, but driver Morgan Lucas got his car into the 16th and final spot for Sunday's eliminations at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.
"It's one of the quickest Top Fuel fields I've ever seen," Lucas said. "I'm proud to be a part of it. So far it's two straight races we've made the race since making the change at crew chief. That's a blessing in and of itself."
Just after the fourth and final qualifying pass of the weekend, it looked like Lucas had made a pass of 3.858 seconds at 312.42 mph that was solidly in the field. Unfortunately, the GEICO dragster dropped some oil on the track and by NHRA rule, that run was disqualified, forcing Lucas to fall back on an earlier run of 3.884 seconds at 315.19 mph, good for only 15th in the field. With three drivers behind him with the chance to knock him out, Lucas had to sit and wait to see his ultimate fate.
"What was going to happen was going to happen," Lucas said. "We made a good run that last run, but hurt the motor and squirted a little oil on the track."
Only one of the three drivers behind were able to bump into the field, leaving Lucas on the grid with a date against No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher, who blistered the track with a pass of 3.771 seconds at 325.92 mph.
"It's a tough first-round matchup tomorrow," Lucas said. "Bottom line is that we have to go out here and keep him honest. We don't know how to run 3.70s yet, but we now know how to run in the mid-3.80s. We've got to keep plugging away at it."