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2014 NHRA: Lucas Manages A Smile Despite First-Round Loss At U.S. Nationals
Posted by: newsla on Sep 02, 2014 - 06:20 AM
2014 NHRA: Lucas Manages A Smile Despite First-Round Loss At U.S. Nationals

Lucas Oil/GEICO Top Fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas was still able to smile even after a first-round loss at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals on Monday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.


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That's because wife Katie and son Hunter were in attendance, with 9-month-old Hunter taking in his first NHRA drag race.

"It's absolutely awesome having them here," Lucas said. "Especially after you lose, to get to spend some time with them right after helps ease that pain."

Lucas, the most recent winner in Top Fuel, lost to Khalid alBalooshi after smoking the tires early in his run. As alBalooshi sped to victory with a pass of 3.788 seconds at 322.65 mph, Lucas shut off early and coasted to a 9.476-second run at 83.78 mph.

"We screwed up on the starting line," Lucas said. "We had the idle screwed up, and the car didn't want to back up. The clutch got smoking hot, and I kind of knew what was going on at that point. With everything going on, I missed the Tree on top of that.

"It was just a series of mistakes, and it cost us a run."

The loss ended Lucas' streak of semifinal appearances at three for his part-time team. In addition to winning the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., two weeks ago, Lucas also reached the semi's in Gainesville, Fla., and Englishtown, N.J.

"I don't mind losing all-out drag races and I don't mind losing when you smoke the tires a few hundred feet out," Lucas said. "I do have a harder time accepting when something like this that could've been easily avoided happens.

"But hindsight is always 20/20. It's not about pointing fingers; it's about fixing the problem, moving on, and making sure we don't deal with it again."

Lucas was confident for a long day at Indy, his Morgan Lucas Racing team's home event since the team is based in nearby Brownsburg, Ind.

"Our car is set up identical to (teammate) Richie Crampton's car," Lucas said. "We could've had a fighting chance to run really well. It's just a bummer but that's part of it. We'll see what we've got to do."

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