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Jul 20, 2014 - 06:34 AM
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2014 NHRA: GEICO/Lucas Oil's Crampton Hopes To Make Denver Race His
Posted by: newsla on Jul 20, 2014 - 06:30 AM
NHRA
2014 NHRA: GEICO/Lucas Oil's Crampton Hopes To Make Denver Race His


The thin air around Bandimere Speedway always plays tricks on NHRA Top Fuel teams, but GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton believes he and his Morgan Lucas Racing team are up to the task for the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday.

 

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"Running up here on the mountain is always tough for everybody," Crampton said. "We've had our fair share of troubles here in qualifying, but so has everybody else.

"It should be a pretty standard Denver race day tomorrow, which means it's anyone's race. I'm confident that (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and the GEICO team are ready to go racing."

Crampton qualified No. 12 for Denver after a top pass of 3.957 seconds at 280.54 mph. That run could've been even quicker, perhaps moving him into the top half of the field, but a blower belt came off short of the finish line.

Crampton will square off against Shawn Langdon in the first round of eliminations Sunday. Langdon snared the No. 5 qualifying spot after a run of 3.868 seconds at 315.34 mph.

"I'm definitely confident about race day tomorrow," Crampton said. "It's going to be another hot day. Q3 today, we ran really well until the belt decided to come apart. Based upon that run, we're looking pretty good. It doesn't show it by how we qualified, but we'll be OK."

While the thin, mile-high air wreaks havoc with the tune-up of Top Fuel cars, Crampton said his job stays the same.

"For me, it's the same old story," Crampton said. "The race car is not as fast leaving the starting line and they sound a little different. The cars are trying a lot harder to make power here.

"It's definitely a new experience for me, racing up here in these conditions, but from a driving perspective, it's the same as always: Try and hit the Christmas Tree, keep it in the groove, and look for a good e.t. slip."

Final eliminations at the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals begin at 11 a.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will broadcast all elimination action, including live coverage of the final two rounds.

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