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2014 NHRA: Brainerd A 'Homecoming' For Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team
Posted by: newsla on Aug 12, 2014 - 05:43 PM
2014 NHRA: Brainerd A 'Homecoming' For Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team

Brainerd Int'l Raceway is 10,000 miles from GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton's hometown of Adelaide, Australia, but he'll be right at home during the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this weekend.


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"It's kind of a homecoming for Morgan Lucas Racing to go race in Brainerd," Crampton said. "We love that track, and the people up there are fantastic. That event means a huge amount to Lucas Oil and everyone on this team. We like racing in Minnesota, and the weather is normally favorable for some pretty good times as well.

"It's getting close to the Countdown to the Championship, and we are definitely looking to do some damage in Brainerd."

Crampton, the leading contender for the NHRA rookie of the year award, came to the United States from Australia 10 years ago to pursue his dream of racing in Top Fuel. He spent seven years on the Morgan Lucas Racing team as a crewmember before getting the call to replace Morgan Lucas in the GEICO/Top Fuel dragster for 2014.

He was on the crew when Lucas won in Brainerd in 2012 and 2009, cherishing the time in victory lane with Lucas Oil founders Forrest and Charlotte Lucas.

"It's been pretty neat for me to watch Morgan receive the Wally from Forrest and Charlotte Lucas," Crampton said. "That would just be a cherry on top to win at the Lucas Oil race in Brainerd and put GEICO back in the winner's circle."

Crampton already has one victory this season, in Englishtown, N.J., and has two semifinal appearances. In the last eight races, he has one win, two semifinal appearances, and an 11-7 round record. He is ninth in the Top Fuel points standings with two more races before the Countdown to the Championship begins.

Brained won't be all about business this weekend, as Crampton and his team will make an appearance in the famous Zoo campground at the track.

"Forrest, the Lucas family, and the team enjoy going out and seeing all the fans," Crampton said. "They're hard-core fans in the Zoo. We'll go out and say hi to a few people and try not to get into any rowdy stuff with them."

Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3:30 and 6 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations begin at 11 a.m., Sunday. ESPN2 will carry all qualifying and elimination action.

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