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2014 NHRA: Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team Step Up Performance In Denver
Posted by: newsla on Jul 21, 2014 - 07:39 AM
2014 NHRA: Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team Step Up Performance In Denver

GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton stepped up his performance in the Mile High City by advancing to the second round of the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals on Sunday at Bandimere Speedway.


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Crampton took down No. 5 qualifier Shawn Langdon in round one of final eliminations on the mountain, a big accomplishment for him and his Morgan Lucas Racing team.

"That first round against Shawn Langdon was huge for us," Crampton said. "We ran a little better than we did in qualifying and I felt like I did an OK job driving, so it was good to get that round-win."

Crampton left first on the defending Top Fuel champion with a .055-second reaction time and then ran away to the win with a pass of 3.949 seconds at 310.63 mph. Langdon smoked the tires in a 4.174-second run at 300.13 mph.

That put Crampton in the second round against No. 4 qualifier Bob Vandergriff Jr. After Crampton had a slight .002-second edge on the starting line, the two were matched together until close to the finish line.

As Vandergriff sped to a 3.942-second pass at 308.92 mph, Crampton spun the tires and slowed to a 4.252-second run at 217.25 mph.

"We are still unsure about what happened in round two against Vandergriff and we are unclear about why the tires spun down there, but we did have a good race car," Crampton said. "There just wasn't enough racetrack there for us.

"But we had two good rounds of racing today, and all things being considered racing up here in Denver, as tough as that is for the crew chiefs trying to figure this place out, we did well."

Being 5,800 feet above sea level, this track presents challenges for crew chiefs and the performance of the race car.

"The conditions here in Denver and a combination of things could have affected our racing here," Crampton said. "(Crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) has to do so many adjustments to the race car that are not normal to try to make more horsepower in this thin air combined with a really hot racetrack.

"It's kind of a unique racing condition that we don't see very often, so Aaron did a great job of adapting but it wasn't quite enough to get around Vandergriff.

"This place is always a crapshoot and it's anyone's race. All that being said, the team did a fantastic job. I love coming here to race, I love the track, the scenery, and the facility. I just wish it was a little easier to make power. The race car doesn't like it but I do."

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