Brainerd, Minnesota (Augst 17, 2016) - Brainerd International Raceway, site of the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this weekend, is more than 700 miles from Morgan Lucas Racing headquarters in Brownsburg, Ind., but to team owner/driver Morgan Lucas, Brainerd is a second home. The Protect The Harvest/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver has three victories in Brainerd, the last in 2014. Plus, Lucas' teammate Richie Crampton won here last year.
"For some reason, the track's been really good to us," Lucas said. "It doesn't matter how you cut it, it's the Lucas Oil Nationals, but with the success we've had there, I would feel like it's a special track to us regardless if we sponsor it or not.
"It's like the total package. It's a fun event, a great surface. In my opinion it's one of, if not the, best surfaces on the tour, and I'm probably not alone in thinking that."
The first sub-3.7-second run in Top Fuel was recorded in Brainerd last year, and four of the quickest eight runs in history were scored here in 2015.
In addition to Lucas' win in 2014, he won here in 2012 and 2009. The memories are special from Brainerd, especially when he thinks about receiving the Wally trophy from his mom Charlotte Lucas, the co-founder of Lucas Oil with Forrest Lucas.
"Mom has given me the trophy a couple of times," Lucas said. "It's extremely special, and those are memories I'll have forever. I love it. I get excited thinking about that exact scenario. Or Indy, having my wife and my kids there. It's all about making memories, and it's a good place to do it."
There are other memories about Brainerd that Lucas will cherish, many from time spent in the famed "Zoo" campground.
"It's funny, everyone we know, somehow knows about Brainerd and primarily because of the stories we tell, the things that have happened, the experiences that we've had," Lucas said. "Definitely a lot more good memories than bad."
And he would like to make more memories this weekend.
"I'm looking forward to racing at the Lucas Oil Nationals," Lucas said. "We're still going to have the Protect The Harvest colors on it. Hopefully, we can get four win lights with this car and just keep moving forward."
Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3:30 and 6 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 11 a.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying action from 9 to 11 p.m., Saturday, and eliminations live from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in CT).