By Lucas Oil Racing
Heading into Norwalk, Lucas winding up for summer surge
With seven races left in the regular season, Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas is encouraged by the recent performance of his GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster, and as the NHRA tour heads into northwest Ohio for this weekend's fifth annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals, Lucas hopes things continue to heat up for a true summer surge.
"We didn't win in Bristol but we had as good a race as we've had in a long time," Lucas said. "Dickie (Venables, crew chief) made a big move with the tune-up and it seems to be a whole lot more manageable than it's been.
"We need to continue in this new direction and make a few more good, solid runs before we can fully make the determination that we're going where we want to go, but right now we're very encouraged."
The 27-year-old from Indianapolis won the season-opening NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif., but then went three races in a row without a single elimination round win. He righted the ship temporarily in Houston, and has since raced to the quarterfinals three times, in Texas, New Jersey, and Tennessee.
The goal at this point is to hit the six-race playoff -- the Countdown to the Championship -- in full stride, so continued improvement over the next two months is vitally important.
"Norwalk typically is a hot racetrack," Lucas said. "It's a place where you always need to keep an eye on the weather and prepare yourself for anything. That's pretty typical of what we'll see at the next several events so this weekend will be a great indicator of what we can expect.
"The Bader family is great. They're a lot like our family in that they truly love the sport and have dedicated themselves to make it the best it can be. They put on a great show for the fans and it's just a fun atmosphere at a beautiful complex. I drive myself up there and we always try to find time for Cedar Point (amusement park) for some goofing off. The whole weekend has a nice, laidback feeling to it and you need that sometimes.
"The main thing is to continue to get better and make sure we're winning rounds for GEICO, Lucas Oil, and everyone else that supports us. We want to do what we can to improve our position heading into the Countdown and then go crazy from there."