Reading: Morgan Lucas Saturday summary

LUCAS NO. 12 AFTER RAIN-SHORTENED QUALIFYING AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 30) -- This weekend's qualifying in the NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway has been a rolling 320-mph research project for the Morgan Lucas ...

LUCAS NO. 12 AFTER RAIN-SHORTENED QUALIFYING AT MAPLE GROVE RACEWAY

MOHNTON, Pa. (Sept. 30) -- This weekend's qualifying in the NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway has been a rolling 320-mph research project for the Morgan Lucas Racing team.

The Lucas Oil Products sponsored-Top Fuel dragster headed by co-crew chiefs, John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson wanted to experiment on their tune up since there were only 15 Top Fuel cars on the grounds after the Pennsylvania event was postponed due to rain two weeks ago.

"We're trying different things in finding out what the car wants," said the 22-year old Lucas. "We're attempting to develop a bigger window of opportunity for a better race car. Sometimes, you have to try different things to get there and that's what we're doing right now."

On his first pass of the weekend on Friday, Lucas ran a time of 4.662 seconds at a speed of 299.26 mph and in the evening time trials, he shook the tires and shut off early. In Saturday's first professional qualifying session, Lucas again rattled the tires hard and coasted the remaining quarter-mile, which placed him in the No. 12 position.

Intermittent rain showers began covering the facility late in the afternoon, forcing NHRA officials to cancel the final Top Fuel qualifying assembly leaving most of the teams changing their strategies from qualifying to now a race mode procedure.

Lucas will now square off against David Grubnic in the first round of eliminations on Sunday at Maple Grove Raceway.

"I'm disappointed we lost our qualifying session this afternoon because we had something in mind we wanted to try in pointing us in the right direction," said Lucas, who has qualified in the No. 12 position three times now. "I'm kind of bummed about it, but we'll go into first round tomorrow and do our best to win. Grubnic is not an easy draw, but you never know. We were involved in a tire-smoking contest last time we raced and maybe we'll do the same thing, who knows? All we want to do is come out on the upside. You never know, it's drag racing--it's a 50/50 chance of either we're going to win or lose."

In head-to-head match ups, Lucas and Grubnic each have four wins apiece resulting from their previous eight meetings with their last race being the first round of the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis.

-credit: lor

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Series NHRA
Drivers David Grubnic , Morgan Lucas