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Oct 28, 2012 - 05:01 PM
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2012 NHRA: Last-Minute Magic Gets Lucas Into Field At Las Vegas
Posted by: newsla on Oct 28, 2012 - 04:54 PM
2012 NHRA: Last-Minute Magic Gets Lucas Into Field At Las Vegas

He waited until the last moment, but Morgan Lucas got the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster into Sunday's eliminations at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.


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Heading into Saturday's fourth and final qualifier, not only was Lucas not qualified, but the GEICO rail hadn't made a full pull in the three previous rounds.

"All it takes is one good run," Lucas said. "You don't like going into the last round having to make a big run, but I had faith in (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and the team and put up a good number."

Despite those nervous moments, Lucas will start Sunday's eliminations out of the No. 9 spot with his fourth-round pass of 3.835 seconds at 317.79 mph. He goes up against Steve Torrence, who is the No. 8 qualifier with his best pass of 3.823 seconds at 296.11 mph.

Brooks said the back half of the track was a little trickier to negotiate than it was during the team's first trip to Las Vegas earlier this year.

"We ran good here in the spring race," Brooks said. "Basically, for whatever reason, this weekend there is one little section of the track that's been having problems. We had to make some pretty big changes to get past there.

"It took a few cracks at it to get it right."

Brooks said believes that Sunday's conditions will be favorable for the GEICO dragster.

"I wish we would have gotten one more crack at it to improve our qualifying position," Brooks said. "It's supposed to be a little bit warmer tomorrow, but first round should be better than what we saw fourth round today. We're going to try and pick it up a little."

Lucas is 1-0 against Torrence this season. Torrence was Lucas' first-round opponent when Lucas won the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minn.

Eliminations at the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals get under way at 11 a.m. PDT from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

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