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Jul 06, 2014 - 06:49 AM
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2014 NHRA: Crampton Has deja vu Moment in Norwalk Qualifying
Posted by: newsla on Jul 06, 2014 - 06:45 AM
2014 NHRA: Crampton Has deja vu Moment in Norwalk Qualifying

GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton found himself in a similar situation as in Chicago, still needing to qualify for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals when he pulled up to the starting line in the final qualifying session Saturday night.


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After two shaky runs in qualifying Friday and a motor blowing up in Q3, Crampton had one chance to put his Morgan Lucas Racing Top Fuel dragster in the field. A 3.905 at 302.21 mph was just enough to get Crampton the No. 15 qualifying spot and pitted against No. 2 Doug Kalitta in the first round of final eliminations Sunday.

"It's definitely been a roller coaster of emotions," Crampton said. "Just like Chicago, not getting in until that last session in qualifying is pretty brutal on everyone around here. It's a little nerve-wracking going into the final round of qualifying needing to get in, but Aaron Brooks and the GEICO team did a great job bouncing back from that malfunction we had in Q3. We're in the field and get to race tomorrow."

While Crampton is relieved to be in the competitive 16-car field for eliminations, he knows that he still has a great chance to have a successful race weekend in Norwalk.

"The great equalizer at this race," Crampton said, "just like Chicago, is that all of the qualifying sessions were in the late evening and into the night. Those conditions are completely different to the conditions we will be running tomorrow being the first round is at 11 a.m. That levels the playing field pretty good.

"I think we have just as good of a shot as anyone tomorrow when we start to go racing. I think we'll be alright. I know that the GEICO team will have the race car ready in time."

Crampton will look to rebound this weekend when nitro eliminations begin at 11:00 p.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all elimination action.

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