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Keeping Pace

Lucas hoping Indy 500 excitement carries over at this weekend’s NHRA event

NHRA Top Fuel driver, Morgan Lucas. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)
NHRA Top Fuel driver, Morgan Lucas. (Photo courtesy of NHRA)

Spending time around the IndyCar team owned by Sam Schmidt last weekend at the Indianapolis 500 has energized Morgan Lucas heading into this weekend's race in Englishtown.

Courtesy: NHRA Media Relations

Englishtown, NJ- Before getting ready to head to Old Bridge Township Raceway Park for this weekend's Toyota NHRA Summernationals, Morgan Lucas, driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster, spent Memorial Day weekend the way many Indiana residents do: by attending the Indianapolis 500.

Lucas was able to get a special behind-the-scenes viewpoint of the race because Lucas Oil teamed with Sam Schmidt Motorsports to back French driver Tristan Vautier for the race.

"It easily lived up to its reputation as the greatest spectacle in motorsports," Lucas said. "To have people you can call teammates in Sam and Tristan made it a lot more exciting and a lot more fun.

"I got a look at what goes on in the garage area and learned about the Dallara IndyCar. When there's someone running for your company you feel a lot more passionate about it."

Spending time around the IndyCar team has energized Lucas heading into this weekend's race in Englishtown.

"It's a race where we qualified well at last year but didn't have much luck on race day," Lucas said. "We made one of the quickest runs we'd ever made to that point there. If we can turn around our luck, we'll have a good chance at building some points back up.

"Qualifying has been our weak point the past few races, and when you don't qualify well it creates a domino effect for the rest of the weekend. If we can get back to qualifying in the top half like we're used to, it'll strengthen everything else we do."

Lucas sits eighth in the Top Fuel standings, five points behind teammate Brandon Bernstein, who is currently seventh.

"Englishtown is such a great race with great fans," Lucas said. "It's such a strong market for us. To be able to do something really special there would do a lot to get us back in the points chase."

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Keeping Pace

Motorsports correspondent Doug Pace keeps up with motorsports news and notes from around the region.