Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and their company, Lucas Oil, have only been around the drag racing and high performance world for about two decades, but their impact on racing and especially drag racing is huge in scope. Charlotte is a big drag racing fan as well as a competitor and her passion for the sport had a big hand in bringing Lucas Oil into drag racing as a sponsor of the NHRA sportsman divisions and as team owners of their son Morgan’s Top Fuel and A/FD dragster operation.
Forrest enjoys drag racing, but has interest in many other forms of racing and as a result supports many racers and series outside of drag racing. DRO Editor/Publisher Jeff Burk made a trip to western Missouri to interview Forrest Lucas at his state-of-the-art dirt track, Lucas Oil Speedway, which is located adjacent to his 15,000-acre ranch where he raises prize-winning Simmental beef. While the track was holding a two-day tractor pull event sanctioned by the Lucas Oil-backed Pro Pulling Association we spent time with Forrest and Charlotte Lucas and conducted a wide-ranging interview.
First, could you give us a little background on yourself and how the Lucas Oil Company got started.
Forrest Lucas: We got into the oil business in 1989. We had a fleet of semis, mostly hauling from the Midwest to California and back. We were in the desert a lot, and there was a lot of heat. We had a lot of oil break down problems, a lot of repairs, so we were looking at better oils and found some stuff that was pretty good and we started looking into ways to make it better. It was pretty much a closed door, trying to get into the oil industry. I stumbled across some stuff that nobody was using and got to looking at it and thought this would be great and it was. I got it figured out, where it came from originally and who made it. We made it for awhile, but nobody would buy it; it was too expensive and hard to work with, so we found other industrial uses for it.
You started Lucas Oil in 1989. It's grown to be a pretty large company.
FL: We started as a little company. We never had any financing, we always did it out of our pockets. . .paid our own way. Now we dominate the additive industry in the world.
Is Lucas Oil a Fortune 500 company?
FL: It looks like it, doesn’t it, but no we are not.