Lucas Oil Racing press release
Tuner/driver Lucas taking a 'common sense approach' to Phoenix
PHOENIX (Oct. 11) -- Morgan Lucas has been serving as both tuner and driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster for just four national events, but the 27-year-old from Indiana already has posted the second quickest pass of his career, giving him a touch of self-assurance heading into this weekend's 27th annual Arizona NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway.
"Our confidence is going up," Lucas said. "We're seeing progress. We know there are no big expectations for this team but we have them for ourselves. We want to show our sponsors and fans that we'll be a contending team in 2012 and beyond.
"Running a 3.81 at 319 mph at the last event in Reading was big for us. That was the second quickest pass I've ever made to 1,000 feet. Granted, the conditions were perfect, but the fact we were able to take advantage of the conditions we were all racing under was a big positive."
Lucas' 3.814-second run in Reading qualified him in the top half of the elimination field for the first time since he took control of tuning his 8,000 horsepower hot rod.
"We're taking a common sense approach, not trying to reinvent the wheel," said Lucas, who secured a spot in the top 10 of the Full Throttle championship point standings by virtue of his regular season success. "We know we're matching up against guys that have 20 years of tuning experience and we've only been doing this for four races, but we're picking away at it.
"Being locked into the top 10, we really have nothing to lose. We're certainly in a bit of a learning mode and that puts a premium of getting the car down the track every time. You don't learn as much when you smoke the tires. You have to get down the track every run and that's become our main focus."
The NHRA hasn't visited Firebird International Raceway for 18 months to allow track owners to refurbish the facility and resurface the track itself.
"There's a lot of unknowns for everyone this weekend," Lucas said. "The pressure of the championship is peaking and some guys are going to be pushing it to the limits. That could open the door a little for us to make some moves.
"It's going to be a fun race. It's one of those weekend's where you'd love to be a fan sitting up in the stands and watching it all unfold."