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2014 NHRA: Englishtown Winner Crampton Hoping For Repeat Performance In Bristol
Posted by: newsla on Jun 15, 2014 - 07:03 AM
2014 NHRA: Englishtown Winner Crampton Hoping For Repeat Performance In Bristol

GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton may have qualified No. 13 for the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on Saturday at Bristol Dragway, but he's still feeling lucky.


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Why? Because the rookie from Australia is coming off his first Top Fuel victory, which he scored two weeks ago in Englishtown, N.J. This weekend in Bristol, Crampton is still receiving well-wishes.

"It's been great having the support of a lot of my friends and racers out here, coming and congratulating the team and (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) for the great job they did, as well as patting me on the back and congratulating me for my first win," Crampton said. "It's been a pretty enjoyable weekend so far."

The event started off well, as Crampton was on pace to be in the top three in the first qualifying session Friday, but a parts failure ruined an engine and a good pass.

"Definitely the confidence is still high after winning in Englishtown," Crampton said. "It showed on that Q1 run. The car was running as good as the top two on the list, but we unfortunately had a parts failure."

That run ended up being his best, 3.939 seconds at 250.97 mph, even though the engine let go in the finish-line lights.

Friday night's session was rained out, ruining a chance for Crampton to jump in the qualifying order because conditions would have been ideal for a quick pass.

"Missing out on Q2 because of the rain made it tough to get into the top half of the field during qualifying," Crampton said. "It's going to make it a tough first-round draw tomorrow, but we think we have a great race car that can still win."

Saturday's qualifying sessions were difficult for the Top Fuel teams, and Crampton was unable to make a full pass. He wasn't alone as heat made the usually tricky Bristol track even more difficult.

"Today was a little tough for everyone," Crampton said. "It got real warm here and made the track conditions a little tricky. We were running pretty good when we pulled the tires loose about half-track in that session this morning.

"This afternoon, we were running good enough to run a low 3.90 or high 3.80, but we dropped a cylinder. That's par for the course in this hot weather and on these slicker racetracks. It doesn't reflect how well this car is running right now, looking at our qualifying spot, but hopefully tomorrow we'll fix all those bugs and be OK."

Crampton gets Antron Brown in the first round Sunday. Brown qualified No. 4 with a top pass of 3.873 seconds at 313.07 mph.

And while Crampton carries confidence from Englishtown, he's trying to treat this weekend like any other.

"It's really just like coming into any other race weekend," Crampton said. "Nothing much has changed with the way we go about doing things around here. I just take each run one at a time."

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