Morgan riding high into NHRA's Countdown to the Championship
NEWARK, OH – With his spot in the NHRA's Pro Stock postseason finally secure, Larry Morgan, driver of the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang, is still pinching himself a little heading into the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals, the first race of the Countdown to the Championship.
"It's been a real roller-coaster the last couple of weeks," said Morgan, who faced the prospect of not making the playoffs after the rained-out first week of the Indy race. "There was the sleepless night not knowing if we were in or not or if we'd come back to Indy because of the rain ... My wife Diane and I were both a wreck.
"Thankfully, we got our opportunity and made the most of it. I can't wait to get started."
Morgan starts the Countdown in ninth place and will be 100 points behind leader Allen Johnson at the beginning of the home stretch. Morgan said he's happy the postseason is starting in Charlotte, because the track there is one of the best on the schedule.
"Wherever Bruton Smitn (track owner) wants to race, I'll be there," Morgan said. "He's a spectacular guy, and awfully good for everybody: fans, racers, vendors. He makes it nice for everybody, and we appreciate what he's done for motorsports.
"Plus, the City of Charlotte is a great place to go."
Since failing to qualify in Norwalk, Ohio, in July, Morgan has found some extra horsepower and consistency in the Lucas Oil Mustang. He has won at least one round in four of the last five races, which is the main reason why he climbed from 13th to ninth in that amount of time.
"The testing we've done has helped," Morgan said. "This time around we're just going to freshen everything up and take a hard look at our front end, because it has been giving us some problems lately.
"Doing these next four races in a row is gonna be tough on parts and people. We all have to bring in our wives to help us out, but we'll be all right."
Qualifying for the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals gets under way at 3 p.m. EDT Friday from Charlotte. Qualifying continues on Saturday starting at 12:15 p.m. with eliminations starting at noon Sunday. ESPN2 will air the qualifying show at 10:30 p.m. EDT Saturday and the eliminations show at 8:30 p.m. on Sunday.
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