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May 29, 2014 - 06:42 AM
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2014 NHRA: Lucas Returns To Driver's Seat For Toyota Summernationals
Posted by: newsla on May 29, 2014 - 06:40 AM
2014 NHRA: Lucas Returns To Driver's Seat For Toyota Summernationals

Morgan Lucas will return to the driver's seat of the Lucas Oil/GEICO Top Fuel dragster at this weekend's Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park as a way of saying thank you to longtime partner Toyota.


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Lucas is racing part-time in 2014, picking the races and tracks at which he most enjoys racing. With Toyota backing this weekend's race, racing Englishtown was a no-brainer.

"Toyota has been one of our sponsors for quite a few years now, and they've been a great partner of ours," Lucas said. "They've done a lot to promote us, our drivers, and our team. This is one of the races they sponsor, and we felt it was only right to make sure we pick one of their events when we're having some fun.

"Englishtown is a gamble whether the weather is going to be good. We want to make sure we go fast while I'm at it, so this is an opportunity to have my cake and eat it too."

Lucas raced full-time for nine years in Top Fuel, winning nine times. He decided to step back this season, and the Morgan Lucas Racing team put Richie Crampton in the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster.

Lucas reached the semifinals at the only race he has entered this season, in Gainesville, Fla. Similar results would be welcome this weekend, but Lucas has humble goals for Englishtown.

"Anything after qualifying is a win," Lucas said. "I'm not sure what the car count is, but one of the nice things about not racing full-time is you don't really have to concern yourself with that.

"We just want to go out there and run respectable. We want to show people that we're not messing around. We felt the same going in Gainesville, and going into the first round there, talking with (Crampton crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) about how we were going to run the car, and it was a decision to just try to improve off of the run before. We were going in the right direction."

Racing in Englishtown is also designed to be a benefit to Crampton, as the main focus of the MLR team is the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster. But Lucas, too, wants to do well.

"I still like the car we have, and the parts we have are as good as anybody else's," Lucas said. "We could run with anybody else. It's just a matter of if we hit it right or if we miss it. I have confidence that we're going to be in a good place. We have a good starting point from some good numbers in Gainesville, and we should be fine."

Four rounds of Top Fuel qualifying will feature sessions at 4:45 and 7 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations are slated to start at 11 a.m., Sunday. Both qualifying and elimination action will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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