NHRA: Lucas puts his foot down, finally

Score one for the gecko.

It was good to see Morgan Lucas score a victory — his first — in a pedalfest at the Summit NHRA Southern Nationals in Atlanta. I’m not sure there is a driver out there who needed a victory more than Lucas.

He has been at it for a few years, and with sponsorship so difficult to get — and maintain — you have to hope this top fuel victory goes a long way toward keeping that GEICO program together.

I’ve always had the feeling that Lucas, 25, might be one of those drivers who wins once, and then becomes a factor every week. With a little confidence, and a little success, it may be that he becomes a player in the championship. The more solid competitors there are in top fuel — and right now it’s trailing the funny car field in that area — the better for the sport.

One weekend doesn’t make a season or a career, but this was a good weekend for what might be a long haul. One thing is for certain: It was a long wait. Lucas’ inaugural victory came in his 107th professional event.

It was also a good weekend for Spencer Massey, who was the No. 1 qualifier and scored his first runner-up finish. A winner everywhere he has raced, it won’t take Massey107 races to win. Don Prudhomme can obviously spot top fuel talent: the man who preceded Massey, Larry Dixon, won in his second race (Phoenix, 1995).

One has to feel good for Jack Beckman, too, who beat Ashley Force Hood in a rematch of their Houston finale two events ago. His victory Sunday prevented her from repeating as the Atlanta event champion in funny car. Beckman won’t be any favorite of the humane society: He was a Mustang killer this weekend, taking out three Ford Mustangs owned by John Force, along with Tim Wilkerson’s Mustang.

Maybe God drives a Dodge Charger instead.


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