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Jun 01, 2014 - 07:53 AM
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2014 NHRA: Even With A Part-Time Effort, Top Fuel Pro Lucas Remains A Force
Posted by: newsla on Jun 01, 2014 - 07:52 AM
2014 NHRA: Even With A Part-Time Effort, Top Fuel Pro Lucas Remains A Force On NHRA Tour

In just his second race of the 2014 season, Morgan Lucas has proven he still knows his way down the dragstrip, running four strong passes down Old Bridge Township Raceway Park to solidly qualify for the 45th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals.


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Lucas posted consecutive runs of 3.835, 3.833, 3.826, and 3.823 to earn the No. 13 position on the elimination ladder. His car's consistency has given his Lucas Oil/GEICO race team a good dose of confidence as they prepare for Round 1 opponent Steve Torrence.

"I'm a proud team owner right now," said Lucas, who owns the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster driven by Richie Crampton in addition to his part-time ride. "Both cars are running well here and we're starting to reach our potential. Having Richie's car running consistently in the 3.70s and this car making four passes all within 12-thousandths of a second of one another is impressive.

"When you have a car that goes down the track every time, like ours has, people think about those things. No one wants to admit it but we all look at the run sheets, and when you see that a car is going down the track every run it affects you. The margin for error gets real small. People know our car is consistent and they also know we're sharing data back and forth with the GEICO car, and they just ran a 3.75. It plays to our advantage."

Lucas is taking time away from the sport he loves in order to learn the family business, Lucas Oil Products, from top to bottom. But he still plans to run a handful of races to assist his teammate and keep his driving sharp.

"This group has done a really good job," Lucas said of his part-time crew. "I feel comfortable in the car and I'm 100 percent confident it's a safe and reliable car. When you run part-time that's one of the biggest concerns, but with these guys I don't think twice about it, and that's awesome.

"Aaron (Brooks, crew chief) has been doing such a great job running two cars, to the point where I'm wondering if we need to run both cars more than we have scheduled. It gives him two hits at the track every round and it's kind of like playing two golf balls on every hole: You know you're gonna get two swings and you tend to relax a bit and trust yourself.

"Tomorrow is one of those days where I feel like we have nothing to lose and everything to gain. If we can knock off people that Richie is fighting with in the points, then we'll have done our job. I'm looking forward to it and, yes, I miss driving the car every week."

Qualifying highlights will air this evening beginning at 4:30 p.m. on ESPN2. Eliminations start at 11 a.m., Sunday, and will be shown in slight tape-delay later Sunday afternoon.

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