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Aug 18, 2014 - 06:39 AM
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2014 NHRA: Morgan's Fast Start Not Enough To Hold Off Reigning Champ Coughlin
Posted by: newsla on Aug 18, 2014 - 06:35 AM
2014 NHRA: Morgan's Fast Start Not Enough To Hold Off Reigning Champ Coughlin

Lucas Oil Pro Stock driver Larry Morgan may be in the twilight of his career, but there's still plenty of drive left in the 59-year-old veteran.


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Morgan got the jump on reigning champion Jeg Coughlin Jr. in the first round of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Brainerd Int'l Raceway, but it wasn't enough to hold off his fellow Ohio driver.

Morgan's reaction time was twice as good as the five-time champ, .037- to .074-second, but Coughlin ran down Morgan with a pass of 6.602 seconds at 208.42 mph. Morgan's lap of 6.674 seconds at 206.32 mph was his best of the weekend but it wasn't enough.

"I'm not washed up yet," Morgan said. "I'm still able to leave on Jeggie, and that's saying something. His foot must've slipped or something."

Joking aside, Morgan was more concerned with the performance of his Ford Mustang. The tires shook on his car during the run, slowing him by a few hundredths of a second, and in the ultra-competitive Pro Stock class, that's often the difference between victory and defeat.

"I could've probably run a .62, .63," Morgan said. "That would've done it but it is what it is. I've got to go home, lick my wounds, and then go to Indy and try to kick everyone's butt."

Morgan was racing on the 25th birthday of his oldest son Nick, who serves as crew chief for his dad, and a victory would've made a terrific present.

"That would've been nice but it is what it is," Morgan said. "He's been able to see me win a little bit in my time, so I'm good with that. I'd love to do a lot better than what I'm doing now, especially for Forrest and Charlotte (Lucas)."

Before Morgan heads to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis for the U.S. Nationals (Aug. 29-Sept. 1) he'll compete in a special match race against Warren Johnson.

The Pro Stock veterans will tangle at the World Series of Drag Racing on Aug. 22-24 at Cordova Dragway Park.

"He's been home building big engines to kick my butt," Morgan said. "I enjoy doing that race. There are a lot of fans there and it's a fan favorite. I'm looking forward to going there."

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