Lucas seizes No. 1
Las Vegas, Saturday: Morgan Lucas, pilot of the Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster and his masterful crew chief, Jim Dupuy rolled the dice on their final qualifying pass at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway and came out a winner with the No. 1 position for the fifth annual ACDelco Nationals. He claimed his second No. 1 qualifier of his young career increasing the torrent pace by setting low elapsed time on ‘The Strip’ running a time of 4.508 seconds, 324.36 mph and will race Joe Hartley in the first round of Sunday’s eliminations.
“I’m really stoked,” said Lucas, who grabbed his first Budweiser Low E.T. Qualifier award in May at Atlanta. “We made a couple of small changes from our 4.52 pass this morning and that made all the difference. I’m just so proud for our Lucas Oil team.
“We’re going to make an announcement Friday in Pomona about our plans for 2006, but before the year is out; we’re still determined to win a race with Joe’s (Amato) team. Jimmy is showing his real potential with this kind of performance, and I couldn’t be happier for him and for the crew. We want to win as a team because we started as a team and we have a great race car and I think we can win tomorrow.”
Team leader, Jim Dupuy was ecstatic with the performance of the car and his emotions were evident when he spoke to reporters.
“We’re at altitude in Las Vegas and I didn’t know if could make enough power to make it run that stout,” said a relieved, but proud Dupuy. “We got our heads together and put together a fast combination. I have eight great guys out here that are really making things happen. They give me a real consistent car, everything is good, and it shows. I couldn’t be more proud of the team and for Morgan. We’ve had a great weekend so far and we’re looking forward to tomorrow. It feels great to No. 1, but for the race, all we want to do is race the track--that is all we want to do. Just go down and be consistent and if we can keep it up the way we did today, I don’t think they can beat us.”
In Saturday’s Big Bud Shootout, where Lucas was the No. 2 entrant in the event, was defeated with a red-light start in the first round of competition by Scott Kalitta.
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