GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Morgan Lucas will climb behind the wheel of a Top Fuel dragster for the first time this season at this weekend’s NHRA Gatornationals at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.
The nine-time national event winner stepped away from full-time racing to tend to his growing family and the family business, but Lucas, 30, is first and foremost a drag racing fan, and he’ll race six or seven times this season to fulfill his passion.
“It’s been a change of pace for me not racing in Pomona and not even going to Phoenix,” Lucas said. “As excited as I am to get in the car, I’m going to appreciate driving it from a different angle: From the part of me that just loves drag racing and loves to compete.
“We want to be respectable, we want to go down the race track, and obviously we want to win, but being that we haven’t tested, we’re going down there very open-minded and very enthusiastic. The group we’ve put together to work on this thing are totally in love with this sport, and that makes a big difference.”
Lucas will be part of the “tuning committee” that also includes Jeff Edwards and Jack Wyatt as the team hopes to have a little fun while going fast.
“For the fans, it’s going to be an entertaining deal behind the ropes inside that trailer,” Lucas said. “Hopefully, people outside can see the joy we’re going to have doing this.”
Aaron Brooks, crew chief for Morgan Lucas Racing teammate Richie Crampton, will provide the base tune-up before Lucas’ tuning committee takes over to make the calls.
Lucas will drive the car he raced to victory last year in Charlotte, the first of the new cars built in the MLR shop.
“We’re going to get some starting points from Aaron and try to keep the two cars as close as we can,” Lucas said. “That’s something we’ve worked really hard to do, to try to keep the two cars matched up as much as possible. We want to be able to take a part off one car and put it right on the other one, if that’s what we had to do.”