Saying he needed to be more involved in the business end of things, NHRA Top Fuel owner and pilot Morgan Lucas will be giving up his ride next year. Lucas, who turns 30 next month, wants to devote more time to the family’s companies as well as his own budding family. Crew member, Richard ‘Richie’ Crampton from Australia, will take over as the driver of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fueler in 2014. GEICO, Toyota and of course Lucas Oil will continue their support of Morgan Lucas Racing’s (MLR) Top Fueler next season.
Said Lucas on his Twitter account, “Thank you for all the support everyone! This is an exciting move for the whole @MLRtopfuel family! @richiecrampton will do an amazing job”
Tend to family businesses
Lucas will not attend all the events on the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series calendar in 2014 as he concentrates on the different companies that his father and mother (Forrest and Charlotte) built, including Lucas Oil and MAV TV. However, Morgan will continue to own MLR as well and intends to drive a handful of events next year. Aaron Brooks will continue to be the crew chief on the car. Another factor to keep in mind is that Morgan married Katie Pallone just 10 months ago and now the couple is expecting their first child in December.
Crampton, whose nickname is Oz, has been on the MLR crew since its inception in 2007. The 33 year old from Adelaide recently earned his Top Fuel license in Indianapolis at Lucas Oil Raceway. Oz sounded ecstatic and in disbelief about the recent news when he said, “This is certainly a dream come true. In this day and age, it’s not very often you have crew guys getting a chance to move up and drive the car. I’m honored that Morgan and Aaron think enough of me to give me this chance. I’m blown away that I’ll have GEICO, Lucas Oil, and Toyota on my side. As I said, this is something I’ve been dreaming about since I was a boy, and now it’s happening.”
Lucas was a little apprehensive but excited about the future, plus he seemed appreciative of all the well wishes saying on Facebook, “It wasn’t an easy choice but I’m excited about the future. I can’t wait to see what it holds! I’ll still be the team owner and I’ll still be out there whenever I can. Richie is going to do an outstanding job for GEICO and for MLR. Thank you for all the support everyone!”
As a race fan, I’ve noticed that Morgan appeared tight much of the time and never seemed too happy. The pressures of a new family and the family business entangled with his team’s battles this year to make the playoffs and then trying to win the championship, likely was too much for the former Californian. Here’s hoping this moves bring him success in all his endeavors.
Can Erica Make History And Win It All?
Rickie Smith Retires With Championship?
NHRA’s Expanded Lack Of Coverage