Winning the world’s most prestigious drag race is not something that Morgan Lucas takes lightly. The Top Fuel standout won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals a year ago for the first time, cementing a memory that will forever be at the top of his successful career.The driver of the 10,000-horsepower Lucas Oil dragster will return to Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis for the 62nd edition of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals, Aug. 31-Sept. 5, with hopes of going back to back at the biggest drag race in the world – which he knows will be no easy task.

“I’ve been going to the U.S. Nationals since 1996, and I know for some people that’s not that long, but I was 10, 11 years old then,” Lucas said. “Knowing the history and knowing my name is on the same list with some of the best who have ever been involved in the sport is incredible. It’s Indy. It just feels big, feels special, and so many fans show up. I equate it to winning the Indy 500, even though I know there are a lot of people who might argue with me. But in my mind, it is.”

imageJack Beckman (Funny Car), Erica Enders (Pro Stock), and Jerry Savoie (Pro Stock Motorcycle) were also last year’s winners. For the first time, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals will be aired live on FOX and FOX Sports 1 (FS1). It also serves as the last event of the 18-race regular season before the six-race Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship begins.

With an increased number of points in play via the point-and-a-half system for this event (150 points to the winner), the drama on championship Monday is expected to be more intense than ever. Now racing on a part-time basis, Lucas, who will make his fifth start of the 2016 season, won’t figure into the Countdown to the Championship mix, which makes the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals even more important for the 12-time Top Fuel winner.

Lucas claimed the victory a year ago over Dave Connolly in the final round, giving the Morgan Lucas Racing team two straight wins in Indy following teammate Richie Crampton’s victory in 2014. It was a thrilling experience for Lucas, who was fortunate enough to share the memorable weekend with those close to him.