This year will include some big changes for Morgan Lucas, driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster.
Lucas got married in the off-season and will be taking a more active role in the operations of Morgan Lucas Racing in 2013.
“My whole outlook on life has shifted,” Lucas said. “My purpose for being competitive used to solely be on having fun and racing. While I still love racing, I want to win because I do have a family, I want to be a good provider, and I want the business side of the race team to be successful.
“There are a lot of things that go into you wanting to be the best you possibly can be. It’s a new kind of pressure to be under, but if you channel it the right way, pressure can be a great motivator.”
Lucas is coming off great season where he collected three wins, four No. 1 qualifiers, and a seventh-place finish in the championship standings. It was his first year with Aaron Brooks and Rod Centorbi working on the tune-up, and, according to Lucas, more than anything their combined success opened the door to what is possible for this team to accomplish.
“This whole season is about bettering what we did last year,” Lucas said. “We can have a better finish in the points and be a consistent threat to win more races. I love drag racing, and I want to win a championship before my career is over. I’m going to do everything I can to help this team become the top-notch team we have the potential to be.”
The GEICO crew is returning largely intact, and chemistry and depth of knowledge are important steps in the direction Lucas wants to see his team take.
“Confidence is key to success in all avenues,” Lucas said. “You have to be confident in planning, decision making, and execution. We’re carrying a confident mind-set forward this season.
“My confidence is high but controlled. I know we can be competitive; now we’re going to try to be competitive more consistently. It’s what the whole team wants. We’re here to do battle, we know the game plan, and now we just have to execute it.”
Being a success in a Top Fuel dragster has always been the top goal in Lucas’ life since the very first time he laid eyes (and ears) at a dragstrip.
“I came to a drag race with my dad and I remember hearing this roar, this thunder — it shook my body — and we were still in the parking lot,” Lucas said. “We ran up to the stands and I saw a Top Fuel dragster go by. I was instantly hooked. It was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
His path saw success driving Jr. Dragsters, Super Comp cars, then Top Alcohol Dragsters before moving up to the pro ranks, where he has won nine times and been a regular in the Countdown to the Championship, the NHRA’s version of playoffs.
Now in his fifth season with GEICO on his race car, Lucas is looking to bring unprecedented success to the partnership.
“We have a tremendous relationship with GEICO, and I want to be there for them 100 percent,” Lucas said. “It’s also very important to represent my mom and dad’s company, Lucas Oil, and the hundreds of associates they have working for them around the world.”