Larry Morgan developed a taste for drag racing in the early 1970s when he tagged along with a few buddies on an excursion to the racetrack. Then just a teen, the sights, sounds and contagious adrenaline of the exhilarating sport combined to make a lasting impression on Morgan, and the impression to to be a force that would dictate the path of his life and career.
After following the sport in those early days to competing himself, Morgan picked up his first win in 1984 behind the wheel of a Super Stocker and quickly added to his scorecard, nabbing two more victories before the season was through.
The following year, the flourishing racer upped his and tried his hand in the quicker and even more demanding Competition Eliminator category. Success seemed to come easy to Morgan no matter the level of competition; he collected a trophy in his first year of competing in the class and added three more the following season.
With so much early success, graduation to Pro Stock was a natural course of progression for Morgan, who made his professional debut at the NHRA season-opener in 1987.
Despite the enormous step up in competition, Morgan soon won his first Pro Stock race in 1989 at the prestigious Mac Tools U.S Nationals at O’Reilly Raceway Park Indianapolis, where he dominated the class and also emerged victorious in the Pro Stock bonus event, now known as the K&N Horsepower Challenge.
“It was incredible,” Morgan said of making the sport’s biggest and longest-running event his inaugural win at the pro level. “We beat [85 time national event winner] Bob Glidden, and he was on top of the world at that time. That was probably our biggest win ever, winning both the shootout and the race. It was a pretty amazing weekend.”
The achievement helped Morgan end the season in the Top 10 in the points standing for the first time in his career, a lofty finish he has repeated nine times since. His impressive scorecard includes 10 victories in the category, with his most recent having been collected at the 2009 NHRA Las Vegas Nationals.
Life would be s easy if if Morgan were just a diver, but his ambitious nature and spirited work ethic steered him towards taking over ownership of his team in 1993 and developing a business as a respected engine builder. Morgan’s engines have been eased by fellow drag racers including, most recently, John Nobile and Rickie Jones, who concluded the 2009 season in the top 10 of the points standings.
In 2010, Moran embarked on yet another adventure, leaving behind his trusty Dodge in exchange for a brand new Don Ness built Ford Mustang Pro Stocker proudly displaying the Lucas Oil emblem on the door.
“It has been a lot of work but ford is very motivated, and they’re great people to work with,” said Morgan, who was on the ground floor in the development of the new 500-cid Ford engine program. “My goad is to run well and to win as many races as I can. I’d like to win the championship; I’ve done pretty much everything else but that so far.”