Team Lucas racers prepped to go after Phoenix trophy PHOENIX (Feb. 21) -- Carrying the title hopes of event sponsor Lucas Oil, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon are in prime position to make a run for the winner's circle at the...
Team Lucas racers prepped to go after Phoenix trophy
PHOENIX (Feb. 21) -- Carrying the title hopes of event sponsor Lucas Oil, Top Fuel teammates Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon are in prime position to make a run for the winner's circle at the 25th annual Lucas Oil Slick Mist NHRA Nationals.
Fighting Saturday's heat, both drivers and their respective crew chiefs tested the limits of Firebird International Raceway in preparation for going the distance on Sunday. In the end, they used their best passes from Friday to earn the sixth and seventh position on the elimination ladder. Lucas grabbed the No. 6 slot with a 3.879 at 306.46 mph in his GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster, while Langdon was seventh best with a 3.888 at 305.63 mph.
"It's very cool to have both our team cars in the top half of the field," said Lucas, who raced to the finals of this event in 2005. "It certainly gives you a leg up on race day, at least for Round 1.
"I'll be honest, I'm a little frustrated with the GEICO dragster right now. We've only made one really good pass this weekend. That's not something you can't overcome, I mean we've raced from this position before, but I wanted a little more. We just got outside our tuning window and we need to step back inside and get into race mode."
An early candidate for the Auto Club Rookie of the Year Award, Langdon is thrilled just to be making passes in a Top Fuel car. Saturday's action provided a highlight for the 26-year-old as he recorded his career-best top speed of 307.93 mph.
"Everything seems to be a first for me right now and that's exciting," Langdon said. "To qualify in the top half of the field for the first time in just our second race is really nice. We went 3.89 in Round 3 and that was a good back-up run to our 3.88 so we're seeing some consistency. It was hot out there. It's one of those days when you're glad you're not the crew chief and having to making the calls on what to do."
As the higher qualified drivers, Lucas and Langdon enter race day with the advantage of lane choice over their first-round opponents. Lucas starts his quest for Phoenix glory against No. 11 qualifier David Baca (3.910 at 305.77 mph). Langdon, a two-time world champion in the Sportsman ranks, will try to earn his first elimination-round win as a pro against six-time IHRA Top Fuel champion Clay Millican.
"I might as well get my first round win out of the way," Langdon added. "It's not going to be easy because you know Clay will cut a good light. We'll have to try and match him in that department and then let this Lucas Oil dragster do it's thing."
"They're all tough," Lucas said. "Baca's been out for a year or two so you know he's hungry. We'll have to be ready to get after it. I know mom and dad would be real happy to see a Lucas car in the winner's circle tomorrow. That's the goal."