Lucas Oil Racing press relesase
Start of Countdown gives GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel team a fresh start
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (Sept. 11) -- The beginning of the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoffs has given Morgan Lucas and his GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel race team new life. Now just 100 points off the series points lead, Lucas and crew know a few good outings could put them back in the mix for the 2011 title.
"The Countdown was designed to make these last six races extra exciting for the fans," Lucas said. "That's why the NHRA resets the points. It gives everyone hope, and certainly we're no exception.
"To be honest, though, we're a lot more focused on getting this car to run down the track every run. If we do that then the points will come. We made some big changes before Indy and came out with a plan to try all the things we've been wanting to try. We made six passes and went down the track in half of them so while we're somewhat encouraged we definitely expect more from ourselves."
This is the third straight year that Lucas has reached the NHRA playoffs. He's joined once again in the 10-man chase by teammate Shawn Langdon, who is tuned by John Stewart. Currently, Lucas is tuning his racecar himself with input from two veteran crewmen, so the guidance he receives from Stewart are vital.
"If there's one thing I learned from Stewie in Indy it's to trust in myself," Lucas said. "It's easy to second guess and try different things because you don't want to miss an opportunity but the reality is that your first instinct is usually the one you should go with.
"It’s a learning process and right now we know that there's not many people willing to give us a chance, but we're okay with that. We'll do our thing and maybe we'll surprise some folks along the way."
One thing Lucas can count on is the surface at Bruton Smith's Charlotte-area racetrack, known as the "Bellagio of Drag Strips."
"Everything Bruton owns is first class and I can tell you as a tuner and a driver that when you can remove a variable like the racing surface out of the equation it's a big relief," said Lucas, a winner earlier this season in Pomona, Calif. "We'll keep an eye on the weather and we'll stay within what we want to do and I think we'll end up having a good weekend."
Friday's opening two rounds of Top Fuel qualifying are scheduled to begin at 4:30 and 7 p.m.