While Antron Brown was busy reeling off the quickest run in drag racing history [3,722] during the rain-plagued Auto Plus NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove, Morgan Lucas was unhappy with the NHRA’s decision to run a race he alleges was done so in the rain.
Lucas, who lifted early in his run, voiced his displeasure to top end race officials as well as the ESPN2 cameras.
“I am disappointed there was a breakdown of communication,” said Lucas, through his team’s publicist. “I felt like they knew it was raining at the top end, and it never got relayed back. I was in the heat of the moment upset [when I was on the top end].”
Graham Light, NHRA VP of Operations, said he believed his team acted no differently than they have all weekend in not shying away from making tough decisions. He cited Friday’s example of shutting off two Funny Cars after they had done their burnouts as an example of his team not being timid.
“Nobody communicated to us from the top end it was raining,” said Light. “Our guys … that’s their job. They are not afraid to jump in and tell us they have oil or rain.”
Brown, in the opposite lane, admitted there were drops of rain but didn’t feel he was in an unsafe predicament, although it was close to it.
“I saw a couple of sprinkles … if you want to call that rain … on the windshield,” explained Brown. “One or two drops on the windshield and it looked like it was moist in the air. Our car went straight down the boulevard in that lane. We actually dropped a hole just before the finish line. I thought it was slipping and sliding but it was actually glued down.
“A lot of people are just pressing real hard. But this is exactly the same kind of weather we had here last year. It wasn’t raining, but I did see spots. Once we came around the end of the track, we did see some sprinkles. There appeared to be a mist and it started dropping as we got out of the car. It was on the edge, but it couldn’t have been that bad if I went a .72.”
A steady rain began to fall after the controversial race and race officials made the decision to postpone the race until Monday morning.
The NHRA also upheld the Brown win after discussions with their top end crew.
Lucas, in the end, had no other choice but to accept the outcome of the race.
“There’s not much I can do about it at this time,” said Lucas. “As a driver I was put at risk by this communication breakdown.”
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