LUCAS NARROWLY MISSES POWERADE TOP 10 POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- With end of the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel season, it appeared all Morgan Lucas had to do was win his first round at the 42nd annual Auto Club Finals. That would have facilitated him...
LUCAS NARROWLY MISSES POWERADE TOP 10
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 12) -- With end of the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel season, it appeared all Morgan Lucas had to do was win his first round at the 42nd annual Auto Club Finals. That would have facilitated him into moving up two positions in the competitive standings, that is, if Cory McClenathan and Hillary Will were defeated in the first round with him taking the win light in his own race.
Lucas did just that and the scenario came to realization with him marching down the Pomona Raceway in his opening round running a time of 4.685 seconds, 272.67-mph. However, due to technicalities as per the NHRA rulebook, an oil-down on his run presented itself as a points deducting occurrence, which is what happened to Lucas in his first round victory over David Grubnic. Unfortunately, with it being his second one of the weekend, NHRA competition officials took away 15 points forcing Lucas to still be behind Will and McClenathan by only nine points.
The final tally came out to be Cory McClenathan taking the ninth position in the POWERade Top Fuel points with 1,036 just outdistancing Hillary Will by one point of 1,035, which separated Lucas from the Top 10 by the slim margin of nine points -- 1,026.
Against his future Top Fuel teammate in 2007 Melanie Troxel, she defeated Lucas in the quarterfinals sealing his fate of staying in the 11th position in the POWERade standings. Lucas ran a time of 4.616 seconds, 305.56 mph to Troxel's winning elapsed time of 4.521 seconds, 329.02 mph.
"What kind of odd coincidence is that with the irony being an oil down cost us a top 10 position and my dad owns an oil company," said Lucas, who started his own team this year based in Brownsburg, Indiana, a suburb of Indianapolis supported by Lucas Oil Products. "It's drag racing and I guess it had to happen to somebody. Of course, I 'm not excited about it, but it's our first full year of owning our own team and we controlled our own destiny and regrettably we lost it.
"Melanie ran very well against us and I'm not really bummed about that. I hope that for them, they can win the race and end their season on a good note this year with their heads up. Our guys are very competitive just like anybody else in the pits and they want to win more than anybody does. We'll come back next year and we'll see what happens.
The next NHRA event will be 47th annual CarQuest Parts Winternationals on February 8 -- 11, 2007 at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.