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Aug 31, 2014 - 06:50 AM
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2014 NHRA: Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team Race To Traxxas Shootout Final
Posted by: newsla on Aug 31, 2014 - 06:48 AM
2014 NHRA: Crampton, GEICO/Lucas Oil Team Race To Traxxas Shootout Final

GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton didn't drive like a rookie on Saturday.

Crampton, the leading contender for the NHRA rookie of the year award, raced to the final round of the NHRA Traxxas Shootout at Lucas Oil Raceway before falling to Tony Schumacher. And in doing so, Crampton secured the provisional No. 4 qualifying spot for the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.


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"I'm extremely grateful that we got the opportunity to run for the money that Traxxas puts up," Crampton said. "It was a heck of a day for the GEICO team, and it meant a lot to me to get in one of these Shootouts. The Big Bud Shootout, the Traxxas Shootout, all those Shootouts over the years, they're very prestigious. I'm honored to have had my opportunity to run for it."

Crampton knocked out the past two Top Fuel champions to advance to the final round. He beat 2012 champ Antron Brown in Round 1 with a pass of 3.772 seconds at 324.20 mph, easily outrunning Brown's 3.854-second pass at 314.46 mph.

Then in the Shootout semifinals, Crampton took out reigning Top Fuel and Traxxas Shootout champion Shawn Langdon. Crampton's pass was 3.797 seconds at 321.12 mph while Langdon had to pedal and made a 4.306-second run at 212.36 mph.

In the final, Schumacher had a stellar run of 3.748 seconds at 328.54 mph, slipping past Crampton's run of 3.798 seconds at 318.24 mph.

"We didn't quite get there, but the big picture is we're racing for the U.S. Nationals here Monday," Crampton said. "We're qualified solidly, and we're looking forward to going rounds on Monday."

Crampton's 3.772-second run was his best pass of the weekend, but he and the Morgan Lucas Racing team are looking for more in Sunday's final two qualifying sessions.

"With any luck tomorrow, we'll get some similar conditions as to what we expect Monday," Crampton said. "We'll work on our race-day tune-up, one that has worked so solidly with both MLR cars. Hopefully, tomorrow is a pretty accurate indication of what Monday is going to be like and we'll get some good data for race day."

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