Seatle, Washington (August 6, 2016) - Protect The Harvest/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Morgan Lucas likes to joke about his part-time crew, calling them "misfits" and "Bad News Bears."
But that group helped power Lucas to the No. 9 qualifying spot for the 29th annual Protect The Harvest.com NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Lucas Oil on Saturday at Pacific Raceways in Lucas' return to the Top Fuel wars.
"It's been pretty nice," Lucas said. "The weather's been good, the car has cooperated with us, we've been down the track three out of four runs, and it's responding. We made a lot of big moves coming in here, for us -- especially the group of misfits, the group of Bad News Bears kind of guys we are.
"To make those kind of adjustments, to have the support system we have with Richie (Crampton's) team, it really makes it a lot easier. We made a really good last run. I know we didn't run to the top half but we are competitive. We are on the radar. The parts look happy, so I can't ask for anything else."
Lucas' best run was 3.743 seconds at 325.14 mph as he races with his Morgan Lucas Racing team for the third time this season and first since Gainesville, Fla., in March.
He'll square off against No. 8 qualifier Leah Pritchett in the first round Sunday. Pritchett's best pass was 3.741 seconds at 322.11 mph.
Lucas has two priorities this weekend: Racing at the highest level and pushing the message of Protect The Harvest.
Protect the Harvest seeks to inform American consumers, businesses, and decision-makers about threats posed by animal-rights and anti-farming extremists. The organization works to protect citizens' freedoms by creating lasting legal safeguards for farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, and animal owners, mainly by responding to the activities of radical groups by opposing efforts to pass laws or enact regulations that would restrict citizens' rights, freedoms, and hinder access to safe, affordable food. For more information, visit ProtectTheHarvest.com.
"So far it seems like it's been a successful Protect The Harvest race," Lucas said. "I feel like we've got, from what I can tell, a good response. We're just here to educate people, to spread the gospel that is humanitarian rights, so to speak, of trying to keep fed and try to keep industry that is agriculture moving and retain rights. So we are here to do that, and if making a good run now and then helps the cause, then that's what we will try to do to help the cause."
Eliminations start at 11 a.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying action from 5 to 6 p.m., Friday, and 11 to 12 p.m., Saturday. FOX will carry eliminations live from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in PT).