It's official: Venables takes over GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 14) -- Morgan Lucas, driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster and team manager of both his car and the Lucas Oil/Speedco/MavTV dragster driven by...
It's official: Venables takes over GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster
INDIANAPOLIS (Oct. 14) -- Morgan Lucas, driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster and team manager of both his car and the Lucas Oil/Speedco/MavTV dragster driven by Shawn Langdon, announced today that veteran crew chief Dickie Venables has officially been hired as his crew chief. Venables will be joined at Morgan Lucas Racing by long-time co-crew chief Kurt Elliott.
"It's official, Dickie is our crew chief," Lucas said. "We couldn't be happier to have him and Kurt at Morgan Lucas Racing. Their past accomplishments speak volumes about their abilities and I genuinely feel very privileged that they've joined our racing family.
"It's vitally important to represent our sponsors -- GEICO Powersports, Lucas Oil, Toyota, and MavTV -- in the best way possible and in drag racing that equates to putting a strong, competitive racecar on the track each weekend. By adding Dickie and Kurt to the mix we're confident we'll be able to contend for race titles and championships for years to come."
The highly decorated Venables has won two NHRA Funny Car championships during his career, once in 2003 as assistant crew chief for John Force Racing with Tony Pedregon behind the wheel and the other in 2007 for Pedregon as driver/owner. He most recently led Del Worsham's efforts in Funny Car at Al-Anabi Racing.
"I'm so excited about this deal I couldn't even sleep last night," Venables said. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge in my life, and that's what it's about for me -- the challenge of making these things go.J
"Now that the preliminary business stuff is out of the way we're diving into this thing with both feet. Everyone on the team has made me feel so welcome and they're showing me all the support in the world. It's a real thrill."
Although he's been most recently associated with some of the elite Funny Car programs in the sport, Venables made his name in Top Fuel dragsters working with such NHRA luminaries as Shirley Muldowney, Don "the Snake" Prudhomme, "Big Daddy" Don Garlits, Connie "the Bounty Hunter" Kalitta, the late Gary Ormsby, and Cory McClenathan.
"You'd have to go back to 1997, working with Mike Green on Joe Gibb's McDonald's car, since I've been around a dragster," Venable said. "We've got a lot to do and I'm going to be on a bit of a learning curve at first. I want to change the engine and clutch to the way I think it will work best so we'll treat these last two races as test sessions for 2011. That way we can hit the ground with our feet boogying next February.
"Morgan is focused on the long-term success of this team and that's my goal as well. We'll see how Vegas goes and if we need to we'll stay over and test afterwards. They've used up all their test days already but we might test any way and take the punishment. The top priority is to be at the top of our game in 2011."J
The team's best results this season have been two semifinal berths in Phoenix and Houston, while the car has been knocked out in the first round 11 times.
-source: powersports racing