Here’s what’s on his mind these days:

: How in the world do Pro Stock racers, especially independent ones such as yourself, manage to continue in the NHRA program with costs far exceeding the payoffs?

Larry Morgan: These guys are renting the engines for $40,000-$50,000 a race, and you can't do it for that anymore. I think the engines ought to be rented for $15,000 a race, at the max. You've got guys out there, gouging these people. That's why there are not that many racers out there like there used to be. A lot of guys could figure out how to come up with $15,000, but they can't come up with anywhere from $50,000-$100,000 a race.

This is how I look at it: You can't afford to pay an engine program more than you can win. If you do, you're an idiot, if you think it's going to survive. You can win $40,000 a race, if you win. If you pay $100,000 a race to rent an engine and a car, that's not good business sense. You call Warren Buffett and say, "Look – I've got the best deal drag racing for you: If you give me $100,000 a race, we can win $40,000 a race, if we win every one of them." How many times do you think he's going to sign on the dotted line? He's going to say, "You're an idiot." That's what's happened to our class. 

: How do you reverse that?

LM: I don’t know how to reverse it. I wish I did. I wish I could tell you there's a fix. And listen, I'm not bitching that I don’t have the money to do it like those, because I don’t, and I'm OK with that. I'm doing the best I can do with what I get. But don’t put me in their category: "Why don’t you run like they do?" when I'm running on 10 percent of what they spend. If you want to give them the same budget I got and see how we do, then you can do that. But don’t say, "Why aren't you doing as good as those guys with all that money? It's money-driven. Our class is money-driven.

: Aren't they all money-driven, or is Pro Stock different in some way?

LM: They're all driven by money. I think the problem we have is the sport never grew with what it cost to do it.  I can tell you this much: in 1987, I got $300,000 more a year than I get now to do what I do. That's the thing I'm saying. I'm happy with what I get from Lucas. Without Lucas, I wouldn't even be doing what I'm doing. But it’s not what it takes to do it right. It's not their fault.


(James Drew photo)

: How culpable are you drivers and team owners in allowing that to happen by not standing up and saying, "Hey – stop. We've got to do such-and-such" or "We've got to go back to... whatever"?

LM: I think the problem with our particular class is we've let it go and get out of hand with all the things that we do. And I'm guilty of it. We're all guilty of it. Everybody thinks Warren Johnson is "Worn-out Johnson." He's not "Worn-out Johnson." I can tell you this much – and nothing against Rodger Brogdon or those guys: Warren Johnson forgot last night more than Rodger Brogdon will ever know about Pro Stock racing. Now, you can quote me on that. And of those guys that run the class. He forgot more last night than most of those guys know. Warren Johnson's not an idiot. He doesn’t have the funds it takes to stay up on the level it takes to win races.