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Jul 03, 2014 - 06:58 AM
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2014 NHRA: July 4 A Special Holiday For Geico/Lucas Oil Driver Crampton
Posted by: newsla on Jul 03, 2014 - 06:52 AM
2014 NHRA: July 4 A Special Holiday For Geico/Lucas Oil Driver Crampton

As the NHRA community celebrates Independence Day at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals this weekend at Summit Motorsports Park, GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton celebrates the anniversary of his United States citizenship.


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Crampton, a native of Adelaide, Australia, became a naturalized U.S. citizen in July 2012 after moving to the States in 2004 to chase his dream of driving an NHRA Top Fuel dragster.

"It was always a good holiday and time of the year for me," Crampton said of the Fourth of July. "After I became a U.S. citizen, I pay more attention to what it means and enjoy it even more because I'm more connected to it."

Crampton came to the United States eight years ago with an Australian Top Fuel team on a business visa. He was later granted permanent resident alien status as he took the path toward U.S. citizenship.

"There are so many great opportunities over here in motorsports," Crampton said. "Australia and the U.S. have a big brother/little brother kind of relationship, so it was pretty exciting when I got to come and live in the U.S. and enjoy all the great opportunities and freedoms."

Crampton became an official U.S. citizen in a ceremony in Indianapolis.

"It was a pretty special experience," Crampton said. "The naturalization ceremony in downtown Indianapolis was a big deal and a special experience."

Crampton has had some more special experiences this season, starting with his assignment to drive the Morgan Lucas Racing dragster.

Then on May 20 Crampton and girlfriend Stephanie Laski celebrated the birth of their daughter Emma Kathleen.

Twelve days later, Crampton scored his first career victory, winning in Englishtown, N.J., on June 1.

"Sometimes I can't believe how lucky I've been, but that just goes to show you the unique opportunities this country presents," Crampton said. "I'm so blessed in many ways, and I'm doing everything I can to live up to the faith people have placed in me."

Qualifying for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals will be held at 5:30 and 8 p.m., Friday and Saturday, and eliminations begin at 11 a.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all qualifying and elimination action.

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