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Duane LaFleur Racing Builds Momentum Heading to Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis

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I cannot worry about the red light. I had the last two races, so that is just part of racing.
I cannot worry about the red light. I had the last two races, so that is just part of racing.
There is a consolatory adage in drag racing, claiming that if you don't go red once in a while, you're not trying hard enough. Getzville, New York's Duane La Fleur won't be guilty of that charge anytime soon. LaFleur Racing recently completed their southern swing which consisted of four races in five weeks, and although things went "fair" for the team, a couple of races got away from LaFleur by less than a half a blink, but in drag racing, fouling away a chance at a win by .002 of a second may as well be a quarter-mile.

LaFleur and his K&N sponsored 1967 Camaro Roadster began their five day road trip in Orlando, Florida at the Division 2 Lucas Oil Points Race. LaFleur advanced into the third round of eliminations, before going down to an opponent running a split second closer to their dial. Next up was the second Lucas Oil points race, this one being contested at Gainesville Raceway, and it was there that LaFleur triggered the red light on by .002 of a second.

After a week and a half off LaFleur and his team attended the third Lucas Oil Division 2 event contested on Adel, Georgia and unfortunately he pushed a little too hard again, going red this time be .007 of a second. The last event on the four race southern swing was the Gator Nationals back in Gainesville, Florida, and things once more refused to go completely as planned. After red lighting at the last two events LaFleur missed the tree this time allowing his opponent to take the win. The LaFleur Race team was able to work through these first few events and learn from them, giving them the momentum to move on and get ready for the next event.
LaFleur Racing is looking to put it all together at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on April 27th.
LaFleur Racing is looking to put it all together at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis on April 27th.


There are clearly a lot of positives to be taken from your southern outing. From your perspective, what are the some of the things you learned that you can apply later in the season?

"What we have learned in the last four races is that the car is performing perfectly. Race-tech built us a great race car and Larry Sexton has supplied us with a great deal of power so now it is just up to me. I cannot worry about the red light. I had the last two races, so that is just part of racing. I have been practicing on the practice tree and we will go testing a few days before the Division 3 points race in Indy. I am really looking forward to this race."

With this being your 16th season, what would you say has changed the most from the first few years to now? Also, what is the biggest change in the way you approach a new season now from when you started?
In 2012 New York's Duane LaFleur heads into his sixteenth year of competition.
In 2012 New York's Duane LaFleur heads into his sixteenth year of competition.


"A lot has changed over the years. The LED lights have helped with reaction times and the technological advancements have made the super class racing a lot tougher. So this has made all the competitors much better and it has made the playing field much tighter. It used to be years ago if you had a .020-.030 reaction time and ran a 9.91-9.92 in E.T. you had a pretty good package. Now you better be a double 0 and run a 9.90 or you could be heading back home. These folks are extremely tough out here and you better be on your game, or you will have a short weekend. But that makes me a better racer too."

"We approach the beginning of each season going for the championship. We feel we have the equipment and ability to do well and compete to win every time we go to an event. For 2012 we have scheduled seven Lucas Oil Points Races and five NHRA National events and once we have reached the midway point of our season, that is when we will evaluate what events we need to go to, and we will adjust the rest of our schedule from there accordingly. We are hoping to finish up on the west coast at the end of the year and that we have a shot at the championship."

"The entire team is looking forward to the race in Indy. We do well at this track and we are really looking forward to going rounds, and with a little luck, maybe we can move up in the points standing as well."

The 29th NHRA Spring Spectacle of Speed Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series in Indianapolis, Indiana begins April 27th.

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