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Jun 17, 2014 - 04:06 PM
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2014 NHRA: Epping May Be New To Crampton, But Englishtown Win Gives Him Confidence
Posted by: newsla on Jun 17, 2014 - 03:57 PM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Epping May Be New To Crampton, But Englishtown Win Gives Him Confidence


For a rookie who is new to the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton has already won in New Jersey.

 

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Can he win in New Hampshire, too?

That's the goal when Crampton and his Morgan Lucas Racing team compete at the Auto-Plus NHRA New England Nationals this weekend at New England Dragway.

"Let's hope the East Coast continues to be good to me," Crampton said. "The NEW Jersey and NEW Hampshire connection might be something good for us. We'll see.

"We know how good (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and this GEICO team are. We'll keep pressing on, and I know good things are coming."

Epping joined the NHRA schedule last year, and it was a rousing success as drag racing fans flocked to New England Dragway all three days. Crampton wasn't driving last season but was in Epping as an MLR crewmember.

"I'm excited to get to race at Epping," Crampton said. "We had such a great time there for the inaugural race last year. The fans in the area were so cool and so much fun, and there was a lot of good racing there. I'm pretty excited to get up to the Northeast and go race at Epping for the first time."

Crampton sits ninth in the Top Fuel points standings after 10 races, an important position because only the top 10 reach the Countdown to the Championship. The Countdown is NHRA's playoffs and is contested over the final six races of the season.

With a victory in 2014, Crampton is confident his MLR team will continue to get better in his rookie season, and though he hasn't raced in Epping he only has one fewer race's worth of experience than most of the Top Fuel class.

"It's kind of a level playing field," Crampton said. "Most other guys have one race under their belt up there, but I'm excited to go and start my first event there."

Qualifying begins Friday with sessions at 4:15 p.m. and 6:45 p.m. Eastern. The final two qualifying sessions will take place Saturday at 12:15 and 2:45 p.m. Final eliminations are scheduled for 11 a.m. on Sunday.

ESPN2 will have one hour of qualifying coverage at 7 p.m., Saturday, and a two-hour eliminations show at 2 p.m., Sunday.

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