BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) - Top Fuel driver Morgan Lucas won for the third time in his career at Brainerd International Raceway on Sunday to close the rain-plagued Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
Lucas was on and off the throttle of his 10,000-horsepower dragster as the engine erupted in flames when it crossed the finish line just in front of series leader Doug Kalitta's charging dragster. Both machines lost traction early in the final round, but Lucas was able to guide his machine to his 10th career victory.
Lucas, running a limited schedule this season, won from the 12th qualifying position. He beat Bob Vandergriff, Steve Torrence and Antron Brown to reach the final round. In the semifinals against Brown, Lucas had a career-best time of 3.729 seconds.
''It's fun,'' Lucas said. ''This is really what I was hoping it would be, just to come out here and have fun and when you go rounds that is just the added value to it. I am just really lucky that Lucas Oil and GEICO support me. Racing guys like Doug and Antron, they are No. 1 and 2 in points. They are the best. To win this race again is just a really cool feeling.''
The Funny Car final between John Force and Ron Capps, and the Pro Stock semifinals and final were postponed due to darkness and inclement weather following a day filled with multiple rain delays.
Racing in those categories will be completed during designated qualifying rounds at the U.S. Nationals on Aug. 27-Sept. 1 in Clermont, Indiana.