Brainerd, Minnesota (August 21, 2016) - Morgan Lucas only races a part-time schedule these days as he learns the family business, Lucas Oil Products, from his father Forrest. Still, the fan favorite has proven to be a solid contender in the handful of races he contests, winning Brainerd two years ago and Indy last season.
Sunday he had a chance to upset the championship run of Doug Kalitta in the first round of the 35th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals, but luck eluded him this time through, and he ultimately bowed to Kalitta's 3.726 at 322.73 mph.
"That was a weird race for me," Lucas said. "The throttle was up after the burnout and I thought I was doing something wrong in the cockpit. It totally threw me off my game and frankly I need to be better than that. I had a terrible light when I needed a great light and just didn't do my job. Doug's 3.72 might have been hard to beat under any circumstances, but I'm upset I didn't give him a better race."
Although his side of the two-car Lucas Oil team only runs seven events a year, they are far from a throw-together group. Aside from the experience level of the ProtectTheHarvest.com Top Fuel crew, they work very closely with Richie Crampton's crew, winners of seven races over the last two seasons.
"I certainly have all the faith in the world in my team," Lucas said. "We have everything we need to win and (crew chief) Aaron Brooks sets the tune-up for both cars, so we're capable of winning. We just made some mistakes today.
"If there is a silver lining to exiting early it's that me and Dad had a chance to spend a bunch of time with the great folks at Auto Value. They've been great partners over the years and it's only getting stronger. We have big things in the works with Auto Value and we are proud of our association."
Lucas will be testing for the upcoming 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis next week and will defend his title of the sport's most prestigious event Sept. 2-7 in his hometown.