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Jul 15, 2014 - 02:05 PM
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2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil's Morgan Hopes Second Car Pays Dividends In Denver
Posted by: newsla on Jul 15, 2014 - 02:01 PM
2014 NHRA: Lucas Oil's Morgan Hopes Second Car Pays Dividends In Denver

Lucas Oil driver Larry Morgan is trying to gain any advantage he can as his small team fights the Pro Stock behemoths. To that end, Morgan will enter a second Ford Mustang at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals this weekend at Bandimere Speedway.


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Tommy Lee, a veteran driver and mechanic, will drive for Larry Morgan Racing in Denver. Plus, Lee will help Morgan and his team tune their Ford Mustangs.

"We're just trying to learn something and trying to use what resources we have," Morgan said. "If we can get some good information, it will help. We're trying to figure out what direction to go with the engines, because we're still recovering from our engine issues earlier in the year.

"We're trying different engine combinations, and Tommy's going to run a little different than we are. Hopefully we can learn a direction to go and move forward."

Morgan also ran a second car at the most recent race in Norwalk, Ohio, with Travis Mazza driving. Lee became available after parting ways with another team, and Morgan offered his second Mustang.

Denver is a different beast from every other track, however, because of its altitude. Engine setup and car tune-up for Denver are nothing like the events in Sonoma, Calif., and Seattle, the next two Western Swing races.

"I love the facility and I love the Bandimere family, but it's so different there," Morgan said. "I've got to spend $7,500 on a rear end just for there. That's tough but it is what it is. Going to Denver is just a nightmare for us."

Because there is less oxygen in the air at the mile-high altitude, engines are prepared differently, and because engines generate less horsepower, teams have to compensate by changing the car's tune-up.

"It's one-of-a-kind," Morgan said. "Nothing you do there translates to anywhere else, not one bit. You can't learn one thing when you go there. You have to drive differently, too. You have to be mad at it."

Qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will be held at 4:45 and 7:15 p.m. MDT, Friday, and at 3:15 and 5:45 p.m., Saturday. Final eliminations begin at noon, Sunday. ESPN2 will broadcast all qualifying and elimination action.

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