Pomona II: Powersports racing preview

Crew chief Venables getting a better grip on GEICO Powersports dragster POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10) -- Dickie Venables knew his transition into the role of crew chief of the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster wasn't going to be totally...

Crew chief Venables getting a better grip on GEICO Powersports dragster

POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 10) -- Dickie Venables knew his transition into the role of crew chief of the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster wasn't going to be totally free of pitfalls, and he was right. But an extra day of testing after the recently-completed Las Vegas NHRA Nationals has the two-time world champion feeling optimistic.

Venables, driver Morgan Lucas, and the rest of the crew stayed at Las Vegas an extra day to test and work the bugs out of the brand new racecar they rolled out in Sin City. With those errors found and corrected -- it's full speed ahead for this weekend's season finale at the 46th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.

"We had a couple of fuel system malfunctions in Vegas that cost us a couple of runs," Venables said. "It's a good thing we stayed on Monday and worked all that stuff out. We're a whole bunch more confident coming into Pomona than we were going into Las Vegas."

Venables said he wasn't totally surprised that the combination of new chassis and engine ran into some preliminary snags.

"When you have everything disassembled and everything goes back together, there's a chance you are going to have a problem with a component here and there," he said. "When it costs you qualifying runs, the odds are good you are going to get behind, which is what happened."

Lucas and the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster are locked into a Top 10 position in the Full Throttle Series. Venables said the plan this weekend is to finish the season strong and build toward a more successful 2011.

"Pomona is a race a lot of teams want to do well at," he said. "For us, we want to end the season on a high note. We're just getting started, so to do well there will make the so-called off-season go a lot better."

Venables added that the personnel now under his direction have responded well to the recent changes and have been resilient despite a season that has been frustrating more often than not.

"I feel fortunate," Venables said. "The guys on the team have been very receptive to the changes and remain very upbeat. That says a lot because they have been through a lot. We're going to do our best to get the thing headed in the right direction -- and we will.

"The biggest challenge is that we want to make that happen right away, and that's not always going to be the case."

-source: powersports racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Morgan Lucas