When Ford announced its departure from NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, all of the emphasis went to John Force Racing’s three-car Funny Car team, along with Bob Tasca III and Tim Wilkerson, who also race in the flopper class. After all, nitro-burners have all the glamour in drag racing, helped along by their crazy body styles and flaming exits from the start line, together with a propensity to blow up at the top end, heaving those crazy bodies to the sky. Little notice went to the Pro Stock class, arguably the most competitive in NHRA’s four-wheeled competition. Where the nitro cars all run pretty much the same equipment, in Pro Stock it’s every competitor for themselves and the secrets start long before the firewall of the car. While you can usually see other category members visiting their peers, the Pro Stock paddock is truly insular, with hardly anyone wandering into their competitors’ pit areas.
Larry Morgan changed from running a Dodge to being a Ford man several years ago. This swap was made easier by the efforts of Mose Nowland, who had been a key member of Ford’s engineering staff since the 1960s and who was spearheading Ford’s return to the Pro Stock wars. The duo got along famously and Larry assisted Ford in developing the program as they brought the Ford Mustang back to Pro Stock with the intent of returning to the glory days of Bob Glidden and other Ford Pro Stock heroes. He turned out to be the singular full-time competitor for the Ford Mustang through its current tenure; it was lonely for Morgan and his crew, particularly when Nowland was forced into retirement.
So when Ford announced it would be leaving - again - after the 2014 season, Larry Morgan had a quandary. He’d put lots of money into Ford parts and Ford ideology, as had his sponsors Lucas Oil and Streamlight. They’d done all they could to get to the top of the heap, but with only a one-car team competing against multiple-car squads and a budget that paled in comparison to his competitors, Morgan’s efforts got him into eliminations most of the time but rarely past the first or second rounds.