After some favorable results during Sunday's eliminations at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals, Larry Morgan, driver of the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang in Pro Stock, might just start showing up late to races the rest of the year.
After missing the first round of qualifying on Friday because of a lengthy flight delay, Morgan went on to not only qualify for Sunday's eliminations, but he also made it into the second round with a holeshot victory over Erica Enders.
"I can only do the best I can do," Morgan said. "That makes you feel good. I'm not going to make a big deal out of it. I know I can drive. I'm not the worst driver, and far not the best. I can tell you one thing, none of them scare me, so I guess that's a good thing."
Morgan was the lower-qualified car and did not have lane choice. There was a brief staging duel, but when the green light dropped it was Morgan's Mustang off the line first. His reaction time was .007 seconds to Enders' .049 second reaction - and he needed every fraction of a second to hold off Enders' charge and win a first round race by holeshot for the fourth time this season.
Enders had the quicker ET (6.975 seconds at 196.10 mph), but Morgan's 7.005 at 196.39 mph combined with his edge at the starting line translated into a .012 second advantage at the finish line.
In the second round, Morgan matched up with eventual finalist V Gaines, who got the jump at the start of the race and powered through for the Round 2 victory on his home track.
"We ran through the clutch big-time," Morgan said. "I just got in a little bit of trouble. We could've probably run a 6.97 or 6.98."
As it stands, Morgan crossed the line in 7.018 seconds at 196.13 mph, about a hood's length behind Gaines' 6.965 at 197.54 mph.
Up next for Morgan and the Lucas Oil Ford Mustang Pro Stocker is the July 27-29 NHRA Sonoma Nationals in Sonoma, Calif.