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Tue, 20 Feb 2007, 11:08 PM

Morgan Lucas Racing Enlists Lance Larson
Courtesy of Jay Wells

INDIANAPOLIS -- Veteran crew chief Larson Larson has joined the Lucas Oil Racing team after a recent realignment of crew personnel after the CarQuest Auto Parts Nationals in Pomona.

Larson reunites with co-crew chief, John Stewart on the Lucas dragster and will become a part of the two-car tuning operation of teammate, Melanie Troxel with Richard Hogan.

"John Stewart and I have been good friends for a long time and we raced over at (Dean) Skuza's and showed some success," said Larson. "When he called the other day and asked if I was interested in joining the team, I was really excited about it, but at the same time I was kind of sad and happy because of my relationship with car owner, Scott Griffin. Our personal friendship was so strong. I just felt for myself and my future the best place for me would be with Morgan Lucas Racing."

Lucas' best elapsed time is 4.474 seconds and his fastest speed ever recorded is 328.94 mph. "Morgan is young and aggressive and I know they want to win and they have the resources of doing it the proper way," said Larson. "I hope by coming on board, I can help them achieve their goals."

Larson was a natural selection after his many years of friendship with all the critical personnel of the team and has the opportunity to make great strides in performance bands. The long-standing crew chief has known the young Lucas since his time as a crew member through a mutual friend, Jason Rupert. As for Lucas' ascent to the pro ranks, Larson states, ". was impressed by him being a nice, young man, well spoken and is a boom to the sport." Team manager and driver, Morgan Lucas shares Larson's enthusiasm.

"I'm excited to see what happens," said the five-time runner up, Lucas. "Over the past couple of years, we haven't been competitive and after a while, it takes it toll on you. I'm going in with the intention that it is time to win!

"Lance has years of experience and I've watched him with other teams for years. I know Lance has the capabilities and a winning attitude and that was proven with the Clay Millican team. If he can bring over that same success that would get us on the right track, who knows, we might win a race pretty soon. We hope he is our missing link to our situation."

Former tuner of Morgan Lucas Racing team, Ronnie Thompson departed the team amicably after post race meetings on Monday.

"We love Ronnie Thompson and he did a great job for us," Lucas said. "He's like a brother to me, but sometimes that doesn't solve all the problems. I think that is where we are in getting through this time and run this racecar, as we need to run this racecar. With Hogan's help, I think we have something we can really bring to the track."

Larson brings a wealth of knowledge to Morgan Lucas Racing and has a simple philosophy into his introduction with tuning teammates of co-crew, John Stewart and Richard Hogan.

"If we can turn it around and get it to run at the same level as the other team car driven by Melanie Troxel in a very timely manner I'll be satisfied with that for the first race," stated Larson. "Obviously, we want to qualify in the quick half of the field and win a couple of races this year and build a program.

"I'm not a magician, nor are any of us are; we have to see what's there and work out the issues."

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