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2014 NHRA: Morgan Finds Some Momentum In First Round At Bristol
Posted by: newsla on Jun 16, 2014 - 06:22 AM
2014 NHRA: Morgan Finds Some Momentum In First Round At Bristol

After a difficult few races for Lucas Oil Ford driver Larry Morgan, he was as happy as the race winner after the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on Sunday at Bristol Dragway.


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Morgan made his best run of the weekend in the first round against Erica Enders-Stevens, 6.770 seconds at 205.04 mph, and while it wasn't enough to knock off the No. 3 qualifier and Pro Stock points leader, Morgan hopes his team is headed in the right direction.

"I'm so excited I can hardly stand it," Morgan said. "We did make progress. We changed the whole car around after some help with one of my buddies. The car's way better."

Enders-Stevens' pass was 6.665 at 207.46 mph, but Morgan got the jump on her on the Christmas Tree. Morgan's reaction time was .029-second, giving him a .033-second head start.

"It's Father's Day," Morgan said with a laugh. "She did that on purpose. She took care of me on Father's Day."

Morgan could afford to smile Sunday, as he and his team bounced back from recent struggles to get into the Bristol field in the final qualifying session and then make a decent pass in Round 1.

Morgan has had to try to tune his Mustang with out data-collection electronics since Topeka, making tuning calls by the seat of his pants. The problem cropped up again on Bristol, but it was fine Sunday.

"We'll be all right." Morgan said. "Remember, we went close to 12, 13 runs without a computer. Try driving and tuning one of these cars like that. It's almost impossible, but I feel good going to Epping, N.H.

"We just ran through the clutch real bad. It never had any clutch in first and second gear at all, and we broke another valve spring, too. We've got to fix that because that's been a big problem."

One problem Morgan doesn't have is with Bristol Dragway. Owned by Speedway Motorsports' Bruton Smith, Bristol is one of Morgan's favorite stops on the NHRA tour.

"I can't say enough for Jerry Caldwell and what he does for the racers as well as the fans here," Morgan said. "His father-in-law Jeff Byrd would be proud of him. Caldwell is good for Bruton and Bruton is good for everybody."

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