Height: 6' 3"
Weight: 175
Age: 24
Birthdate: November 27, 1983
Marital Status: Single
Birthplace: Corydon, Indiana
Residence: Brownsburg, Indiana
Personal Vehicle: 2006 Z-71 Chevrolet Tahoe
Hobbies: Racing and Bowling

Morgan Lucas knew at an early age he was going to be a professional drag racer.  What he didn’t anticipate was the ironic sequence of events that would see him getting the opportunity to fulfill his dream because of the fatal accident of the driver who had inspired it.

Lucas was 10 years old and just another curious youngster when his father, Forrest, took him to the NHRA World Finals at Pomona Raceway.  As they wandered the pits and took in all the pageantry and excitement, the young Lucas happened to encounter Darrell Russell, who at the time was an up-and-coming driver of a Top Alcohol dragster.

Lucas asked Russell if he had any old or damaged parts he could autograph.  Russell responded by signing his name to a bent front wheel from his dragster and giving it to the boy, who carried it through the pit area and collected other autographs as well.  Lucas said at that point he knew what he wanted to do when he grew up.

A little over 10 years later, on Aug. 13, 2004, Lucas made his professional debut in a Top Fuel dragster at Brainerd, Minn.  He was 20 years old and had just joined the Joe Amato Racing team to replace Russell, who on June 27, 2004, at Madison, Ill., had lost his life in a racing crash. 

This will be Lucas’s fourth full season as a professional and the tall (6-foot-3), slender bachelor continues to shoulder a daunting workload for Morgan Lucas Racing, the team he and parents Forrest and Charlotte formed for the 2006 campaign.  Morgan will continue to compete for the POWERade Series championship in his Top Fuel car.  He’s also going after a Lucas Oil Series title in the Top Alcohol dragster class, and he’ll have a new teammate in J.R. Todd, who has five wins in his two years in the Top Fuel class.

“I think we’re ready to be a championship contender,” said Lucas, who’s confident he and crew chief Richard Hogan will be able to find the performance and consistency that were missing in 2007, when Lucas finished 15th in the standings.  “I know that might sound funny to a lot of people, considering the season we had last year.  But I’ve proven I know how to drive a dragster and Richard has proven he knows how to win and there’s good depth on the team, so all the pieces of the puzzle are in place. What we have to do is make sure we keep putting them together correctly.

“Last year was one of those seasons that even the best teams have sometimes. You’re doing everything the right way, or at least what you think is the right way, but you’re not getting the results.  So you start trying harder and that just makes things worse.  Still, as bad it seemed, there were still some good things.  We made it to four semifinals (Brained, Reading and both Las Vegas races) and ran our best-ever miles per hour (330.47 in the final round of qualifying for the Auto Club Finals at Pomona in November).

“The other thing is, I’m finally getting comfortable with being a team owner.  This is the third year we’ve had the team and the second year we’ve been a two-car operation and I think at times I underestimated how much time and effort was required.  I know there have been times I got into the car thinking about something I needed to do and forgot to do that had nothing to do with driving, and that had to hurt my focus at times.  That won’t be a problem this year.

“I want to win a championship, just like everyone else out there, and I’m really going to be disappointed if J.R. and I aren’t in the hunt all the way to the finish.  I’m ready to go.”
Motivation never has been a problem for Lucas.

Two years after his chance meeting with Russell at Pomona, Lucas launched his career by becoming a member of the crew for Jason Rupert’s Top Alcohol dragster.  Lucas spent the summer traveling around the country and learning how to do every job and fill every position on the team.  He also prepared to make his debut as a driver in a pair of Junior Dragster events.

When he was 16, Lucas joined Bayer Racing to drive the team’s entry in the Super Comp class.  That put Lucas under the tutelage of Thomas Bayer, an accomplished driver and instructor, and Lucas learned the value of being a good competitor and sportsman while also working on and tuning the race car.

Lucas used his years in the Super Comp class to build a solid foundation as a driver, and midway through the 2002 season he moved up to the Top Alcohol dragster class by joining the highly-respected Darien Meadows team.  Morgan competed in six events that season and won twice while qualifying No. 1 five times.  That served as the springboard for 2003, when Lucas qualified No. 1 six times, won four national events and finished a close second in the national point standings.

One of his 2003 wins came at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, where he also was the No. 1 qualifier, and he became just the third Top Alcohol driver to win both the Jeg’s All-Star race and the national event at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill.

During that off-season, the family formed its own Top Alcohol dragster team, with the intent of pursuing the national championship.  Morgan continued his impressive progress as a driver, winning four Lucas Oil Series nationals.  One of those wins, and a No. 1 qualifier award, came at Brainerd, where he made his Top Fuel debut by qualifying fifth before losing to John Smith in the first round of eliminations.

Before the season was over, however, Lucas had demonstrated that he would be a title contender in the future.  Competing in eight events with Amato and crew chief Wayne Dupuy, the Indiana native reached back-to-back finals at Las Vegas and Pomona to close the season and, at Pomona, had career bests in both elapsed time – 4.519 seconds – and speed – 326.08 miles per hour.

The 2005 season opened with a 4.474-second elapsed time at Pomona Raceway, where Lucas qualified fourth and went to the semifinals of the CarQuest Winternationals.  Two weeks later, at Phoenix, he qualified sixth and finished as the runner-up to Tony Schumacher.  For the year, Lucas qualified No. 1 twice, went to three finals and six semifinals and finished fifth in the point standings.

Then, the family again went its own way, forming Morgan Lucas Racing and bringing in veterans John Stewart and Ronnie Thompson to share crew chief duties on the Top Fuel dragster.  That made Morgan both the driver and the team manager, and amplified the demands on him.

“It’s kind of more pressure than I’ve had in the past, but it’s a relaxed pressure,” he said at the time.  “We’re excited.  The feeling of pride and accomplishment is one I’m sure we’re going to try to achieve.”

The team didn’t have quite the season Lucas wanted.  They started well, reaching the semifinals three times in the first nine races.  But during the remainder of the season they reached just two more semifinals, failed to qualify for the next-to-last race of the year at Las Vegas and finished 11th in the point standings.

For the 2007 season Lucas Oil Racing expanded to a two-car team, with Melanie Troxel and Hogan coming aboard.  Troxel has moved on and Hogan has joined forces with the young team owner to rebuild the competitiveness of his dragster after a season that saw Lucas post a 10-16 won-lost record in eliminations, including 11 first-round losses, and fail to qualify for seven events.

Lucas doesn’t see that happening again with Todd and Hogan sharing their expertise and the entire team gaining experience.

“My biggest goal is getting the car back on the right track,” Lucas said.  “We’re trying to set up a foundation here and we understand that not everything will turn out perfect.  We spent a lot of last year learning what not to do.  Sharing information will benefit both of our teams.  Many other teams have proven that two cars are better than one.

“It’s people working together and communicating (about) what they’ve seen in the past and what they haven’t, and working together to test all these things for the future and go to the next level.  To run with the big dogs, some times you have to step out of the box, reflect on what you’ve accomplished, and think about what’s going to be the future of this team.”

“I’m excited to see what happens,” Lucas said.  “Over the past couple of years we haven’t been competitive and after a while it takes a toll on you.  I’m going in with the intention that it’s time to win.”

Once he starts winning, Lucas plans to keep doing so for a long, long time.
“I’m 24 years old and all I want to do is drive race cars,” he said.

CAREER HIGHLIGHTS

2007 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Finished 15th in NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings
  • Four semifinal appearances (Las Vegas1, Brainerd, Reading, Las Vegas2)
  • Recorded win/loss record of 10-16, now has accumulated a 68 – 69 win/loss career total.
  • Reset career best Miles-Per-Hour 330.47 mph at the Auto Club NHRA Finals in the fourth round of qualifying at Pomona, Ca.

2006 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Finished 11th in NHRA POWERade Top Fuel standings
  • Five semifinal round appearances (Pomona1, Atlanta, Topeka, Brainerd, Memphis)
  • Raced to his 100th career round (Quarterfinals – Brainerd).
  • Recorded win/loss record of 17 – 22, now has accumulated a 58 – 53 win/loss career total.

2005 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Three final round appearances: Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Phoenix; Sears-Craftsman Nationals at Gateway International Raceway in Madison, Ill.; and Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Bandimere Speedway in Denver.
  • Finished fifth in the NHRA POWERade Top Fuel point standings with 1,357 points.
  • Earned two Budweiser Low E.T. awards. He qualified his Lucas Oil Dragster in the No. 1 position at the Summit Racing Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway (May, 14) after running 4.541 seconds, 326.40 MPH.  He claimed his second at the ACDelco Nationals on "The Strip" at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway rocketing down the quarter-mile to a time of 4.508 seconds, 324.36 MPH (Oct. 22).
  • Set career best elapsed time: 4.474 seconds in Pomona, Calif. (Feb. 12) at the season opening CarQuest Winternationals.
  • Set career best speed: 328.94 MPH at Heartland Park Topeka for the running of the O'Reilly Summernationals (May 29)
  • Amassed a 29-23 win/loss record - 56 per cent proficiency record

2004 CAREER HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Began professional Top Fuel career at 23rd annual Lucas Oil Products NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., August 15, 2004.
  • Earned runner-up finishes at ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals and Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals in Pomona, Ca.
  • Set career E.T. - 4.519 ET (Nov. Pomona), MPH - 326.08 MPH (Nov. Pomona)
  • Lucas finished 15th in NHRA Top Fuel category, eighth in Lucas Oil Top Alcohol point standings and third in Division 7 regional championship.
  • Winner of four Lucas Oil Drag Racing series National Event titles:: Summitracing.com Nationals (Las Vegas1), Fram-Autolite Nationals (Sonoma, Ca.), Lucas Oil Nationals (Brainerd, Minn.), and Lucas Oil Nationals (Reading, Pa.).
  • Earned one low qualifier National Event award: Lucas Oil Products Nationals, Brainerd, Minn.
  • One divisional six event win (Seattle)
  • Had Three No. 1 Qualifiers - Lucas Oil divisional events (Bakersfield, Ca, Division 7, Woodburn, Ore.-Division 6, Seattle - Division 6)
  • Has a total of 10 National event alcohol wins in11 final rounds

2003 Career Highlights:

  • First full season behind the wheel of the Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows owned Top Alcohol Dragster; competed in 10 national events and seven divisional events
  • Earned six low qualifier awards; K&N Filters Winternationals (Pomona), O'Reilly Spring Nationals (Houston), Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 event (Sonoma), Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 6 event (Woodburn, OR), Carquest Auto Parts Nationals (Seattle), and Mac Tools U.S. Nationals (Indianapolis)
  • Winner of two Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 events; Firebird International Raceway (Phoenix) and Infineon Raceway (Sonoma)
  • Winner of four national event titles; Mac Tools U.S. Nationals (Indianapolis), Carquest Auto Parts Nationals (Chicago), O'Reilly Fall Nationals (Dallas) and Auto Club of Southern California Finals (Pomona)
  • Earned first Mac Tools U.S. Nationals title from the pole position
  • Became only the third Top Alcohol Dragster driver in NHRA history to win both the national event and the Jeg's All-Stars race held at Route 66 Raceway in Chicago
  • Top Alcohol Dragster Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 Champion
  • Finished No. 2 in the national point standings.

2002 Career Highlights:

  • Competed in Super Comp the first half of the season posting two wins in the Super Comp Association.
  • Competed in six events in the Top Alcohol Dragster class driving for Jerry Darien and Ken Meadows.
  • Earned five Low Qualifier awards in Top Alcohol Dragster; Lucas Oil Northwest Nationals (Seattle), Fram/Autolite Nationals (Sonoma), Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 event (Medford, OR and Las Vegas), and the Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Pomona).
  • Earned two National events wins in Top Alcohol Dragster; Fram/Autolite NHRA Nationals (Sonoma), Auto Club of Southern California NHRA Finals (Pomona), and one Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 "Summer Nights of Fire" (Pomona).
  • Finished runner-up at the Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series Division 7 event in Las Vegas.
  • Ranked 18th in the national points standing in the Top Alcohol Dragster class in 2002.
Morgan's Favorites
Hero: Dad, Dale Earnhardt and Boris Said
Proudest Moment:  Winning the Auto Club of Southern California Finals in 2002 and setting the national elapsed time record
Favorite TV Programs:Family Guy, NHRA Lucas Oil “On The Edge”
Favorite Movies: Super Badd
Favorite Movie Stars: Chris Farley, Mike Myers, Adam Sandler, Will Ferrell
Sport: Basketball, Football
Vacation Spot: Fiji
Food: Italian, Japanese
Favorite Groups: Incubus, Linkin Park, As tall as lions, and U2
Hobbies: Racing, Watching Indianapolis Colts football
If you weren't racing: Working for the Family


© 2008 COPYRIGHT MORGAN LUCAS RACING