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Jul 15, 2014 - 02:05 PM
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2014 NHRA: Geico/Lucas Oil Driver Crampton Has Lofty Goal: Sweep The Western Swing
Posted by: newsla on Jul 15, 2014 - 02:01 PM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: Geico/Lucas Oil Driver Crampton Has Lofty Goal: Sweep The Western Swing


GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton doesn't hold back when he talks about goals for the Western Swing, which begins with this weekend's Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway.

 

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The leading contender for the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rookie of the year award would love nothing more than to win all three races on the Swing: in Denver, Sonoma, and Seattle.

"Sweeping the Swing is what everyone is trying to do out here, and that would be the ultimate," Crampton said. "I have all the confidence in the world in (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and my GEICO guys. We'll see how it goes."

Crampton sits ninth in the Top Fuel points standings with five races remaining before the Countdown to the Championship playoffs. He has already won one race, in Englishtown, N.J., and wants another in Denver.

"As with every race on the tour, it's going to be new to me," Crampton said. "I like Denver as a place to visit and to go race at. Hopefully, we can go some rounds and start the Swing off right."

Sonoma and Seattle follow on consecutive weekends in a test of preparation and perseverance for NHRA teams. Get off to a good start in Denver, and the rest of the Swing could go smoothly.

"I still need as many runs as I can get," Crampton said. "I like racing back to back, but it's hard on everyone. We were all feeling it at the end of the last string of races, so the weekend off was nice to regroup and get some rest. We'll go to Denver and do it again."

The most recent event, in Norwalk, Ohio, on July 6, ended a four-race stretch on consecutive weekends that taxed every NHRA team. Crampton and the Morgan Lucas Racing team fared well, qualifying third and sixth in Epping, N.H., and Chicago and advancing to the semifinals in Epping.

"We know we can do better, and we know we have the potential to do better," Crampton said. "The Western Swing can be tough, but I know my guys will rise to the occasion."

Qualifying for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals will be held at 5:30 and 8 p.m. MDT, Friday, and at 4 and 6:30 p.m., Saturday. Final eliminations begin at 11 a.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will broadcast all qualifying and elimination action.

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