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2014 NHRA: Best Pass Of The Weekend Not Enough For Geico/Lucas Oil's Crampton
Posted by: newsla on Jul 07, 2014 - 07:03 AM
2014 NHRA: Best Pass Of The Weekend Not Enough For Geico/Lucas Oil's Crampton

Richie Crampton and his GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team finally figured out Summit Motorsports Park, but it wasn't enough to overcome points leader Doug Kalitta.


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Crampton made his best pass of the weekend in Round 1 of the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on Sunday, but he ran into the Kalitta buzz saw.

"That was a heck of a good run," Crampton said. "Unfortunately, it was just against the wrong opponent."

Crampton's pass was 3.779 seconds at 323.35 mph, but No. 2 qualifier Kalitta went even quicker with a run of 3.752 seconds at 327.51 mph that was low of the round.

"We struggled in qualifying and that makes the first round tough," Crampton said. "Nonetheless, Doug was there for the taking on the starting line, but I left a little on the table there. Subsequently, we lost both ways."

Kalitta's reaction time was .092-second, but Crampton couldn't take advantage of it and left a tick behind. With Kalitta's speedy pass, Crampton trailed from the hit, and despite a speed of 290.44 mph at the eighth-mile the rookie came up short.

Facing the No. 2 qualifier is always tough, but having to do it in the first round is especially difficult. Crampton slipped into the field at No. 15, but that came after his Morgan Lucas Racing team thrashed to overcome some bad luck during qualifying.

In Q3, Crampton was on a good pass until a parts failure caused a fireball near the finish line. The team worked to replace the engine and repair the car, and Crampton made a good pass in Q4 to get in the field.

"We just had some bad luck again in qualifying," Crampton said. "We've said that a lot this year. When that air-line fitting that came off in Q3, it got us behind the eight ball again. For Q4 it was just an uphill battle. The team did a great job to bounce back from that fire we had."

Crampton, the leading contender for the NHRA rookie of the year award and a winner in Top Fuel this season, gets a weekend off before racing in the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on July 18-20 at Bandimere Speedway.

"We were hoping for a good weekend," Crampton said. "We'll go to Denver to the level playing field."

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