DEARBORN -- Larry Morgan, driver/owner of the Lucas Oil Pro Stock Ford Mustang, made his way to the semi-finals this past weekend during the 50th Annual NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. Morgan talks about heading to Phoenix and what he learned during the official debut of the new Ford Pro Stock motor.
Q. LARRY MORGAN – DRIVER/OWNER LUCAS OIL PRO STOCK FORD MUSTANG – WHAT FROM THIS WEEKEND CAN YOU TAKE INTO PHOENIX?
A. Well, we did get more runs on the car and we did run fairly well. It’s still a learning curve with this engine, and we’re not quite where we need to be. We have to take the engine back and work on it, but we do have momentum going into the next few races because of the things we found with the car in qualifying. The first time out, it’s a pretty big fete, so I’m excited about that, excited for Ford and everybody involved with this project.
Q. WHAT WAS THE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU LEARNED THIS WEEKEND?
A. The most important thing that I learned this weekend is that we can still go rounds coming out with a brand new car, coming right off the bat we did well. We’re all looking forward to it. Ford stepped up and did this engine and it’s just a great deal for all the competitors that are going to run one.
Q. SINCE YOU MADE IT TO THE SEMIS HERE, JIM CUNNINGHAM AND ERICA ENDERS WILL BE RUNNING IT IN GAINESVILLE, DO YOU THINK THEY WILL BE LEANING ON YOU A BIT?
A. Oh they’re leaning on me right now. I wish there was more that I could do, but I can only do so much.\
Q. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE RUNNING A MUSTANG?
A. I love it. It’s a nice car. What a car. I never in my life thought that I would be in a Mustang because they never were involved in the class. Bob Glidden and I are friends and I always supported everything he did because I have a lot of respect for him, and this is a neat deal. He’s excited for me as well. We’re excited. I think it’s going to be a great deal for all of us.
Q. TALK ABOUT RACING IN PHOENIX.
A. I can’t wait to get there. I just hope we qualify and do as well as we did in Pomona, which is a lot. I wish I would have won, but I didn’t, but we did do well. We have to keep that momentum going, that would be good. I’ve got a lot confidence in the parts and the car. We’ll get it. The only problem we have is getting the tune-up right. We’re just not quite ready for it, but we will. We’ve hurt the motor every time we’ve been out and we’ve got to figure out what we’re doing wrong here.
Q. YOU SAID YOU HURT THE MOTOR.
A. It was our fault because we leaned on the engine, trying to get more power out of it, so we can’t lean on it as hard. As a result of us leaning on it, we hurt it a bit, but we’ll be alright.
Q. ANY GOALS FOR THE SEASON?
A. Trying to keep Ford up front, and try to get them what they deserve, that’s what my goal is.
Q. STEEP LEARNING CURVE?
A. Steep learning curve, different learning curve, because the engine is powerful and we’re not ready for that. We will be. I’m ready enough to drive it, but I don’t know whether we’re ready for our minds to do the tune-up for it, but we will.
Q. IS THE ENGINE MORE POWERFUL THAN YOU’RE USED TO?
A. Way more powerful than I’m used to. That’s a good thing.