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May 27, 2014 - 03:54 PM
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2014 NHRA: Driving Geico/Lucas Oil Dragster Becoming Second-Nature To Crampton
Posted by: newsla on May 27, 2014 - 03:47 PM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Driving Geico/Lucas Oil Dragster Becoming Second-Nature To Crampton


Eight Top Fuel races into his career, GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton feels right at home in the cockpit of his Morgan Lucas Racing dragster.

 

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As Crampton heads to the Toyota NHRA Summernationals this weekend at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park, driving the powerful car has become second-nature.

"I'm really comfortable driving the race car," Crampton said. "I'm still kind of overthinking a lot of stuff on the starting line. I'm trying to get back into some type of rhythm with my reaction times and staging procedure. The more runs I get, the more comfortable I'm going to get."

Starting-line procedures are different for every driver, and continuing to refine the routine is normal for any driver, whether a rookie like Crampton or the most-seasoned veteran.

Now, though, Crampton is going into attack mode.

"For the most part, my focus has changed from being a driver who shows and is really concerned about not screwing up to now my mind-set being more like, 'Go for it. Let's try and win this,' " Crampton said. "I'm still loving driving this Top Fuel car and it's so much fun. I'm lucky to get this opportunity, so I'm going to work hard on getting better for this team, for GEICO, for Lucas Oil, and for Toyota. They all deserve it."

Crampton is carrying some momentum into Englishtown after making three stout runs in a row in Topeka. He recorded 3.8-second runs in the final qualifying session, in a first-round victory, and in the second round.

"Running fairly well in the hot weather in Topeka is definitely going to transfer over into hopefully a good qualifying session in Englishtown," Crampton said. "It's hopefully going to be similar conditions. We're making more runs and getting more data, and everything seems to be working better and better the more runs we get.

"I'm pretty confident going into Englishtown and am really excited to get there and start fresh again and try to put GEICO a little further into the field."

Four rounds of Top Fuel qualifying will feature sessions at 4:45 and 7 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations are slated to start at 11 a.m., Sunday. Both qualifying and elimination action will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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