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Jun 10, 2014 - 06:49 AM
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2014 NHRA: Englishtown Winner Crampton Hopes To Keep Momentum Rolling In Bristol
Posted by: newsla on Jun 10, 2014 - 06:46 AM
2014 NHRA: Englishtown Winner Crampton Hopes To Keep Momentum Rolling In Bristol

With the reality of winning his first NHRA Top Fuel race finally sinking in, GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton is ready to win some more.


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After scoring in Englishtown, N.J., on June 1, the rookie from Australia gets his chance at back-to-back victories at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals this weekend at Bristol Dragway.

"It's the ultimate confidence booster for myself and the team," Crampton said of the win. "I think everyone kind of took a little leap of faith when I was given this position to drive for Morgan Lucas Racing, so I think this makes everyone feel a little better about the decision and at least they can see that there's definitely some more potential. It's a great feeling and everyone at MLR is on cloud nine right now."

Crampton, 33, took over the GEICO/Lucas Oil dragster this season after Morgan Lucas decided to step back from racing full time. A crewmember for several seasons with the team, Crampton jumped at the chance to drive in 2014.

After beating points leader Doug Kalitta in the Englishtown final round, Crampton found himself wondering if it was real, especially when he thought about becoming the 100th driver to win a Top Fuel race in NHRA's storied history.

"It's been such a whirlwind," Crampton said. "We won the final and celebrated there at the racetrack before we had to head right to the airport to fly home to Indianapolis Sunday night.

"There's a lot of stuff going on at the shop with work, so I haven't really had a lot of time to sit down and really soak it in and let the fact that I am No. 100 on the all-time list of winners in Top Fuel soak in yet."

But an afternoon drive with his father Alan around the Indianapolis area finally put it in perspective.

"Over the course of the weekend, we had some spare time to relax, so I had some time to think about things," Crampton said. "I went and looked at the list of 100 drivers, and it's pretty awesome to see my name at No. 100 following so many great names and legends on that list, like Don Garlits and Don Prudhomme and all the Kalittas. It's a great feeling."

He hopes that feeling continues this weekend in Bristol, where the team has struggled in the past, but with the momentum from Englishtown, Crampton wants to turn around the team's fortunes.

"Bristol Dragway is one of my favorite racetracks to visit and the fans are so great, so I'm pretty excited to race there," Crampton said. "However, Morgan Lucas Racing traditionally hasn't run very well there, so it's exciting to go there with a great-running race car. We hope to do better than we have in the past and keep the ball rolling."

Four rounds of Top Fuel qualifying will feature sessions at 5:30 and 8 p.m., Friday, and 1 and 3:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations are slated to start at noon, Sunday. Both qualifying and elimination action will be broadcast on ESPN2.

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