Crampton rockets to 3.69 top qualifying pass

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Australia’s Richie Crampton has top qualified for the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals at Florida’s Gainesville Raceway with a 3.698 second run.

The pass was the fifth quickest in history and the first 3.6 second 1000 feet time outside of Brainerd.

“We struggled a bit yesterday, and we were looking forward to the overcast conditions today because we all know what (crew chief) Aaron Brooks could do when the weather was like that, with a cool track temperature,” said Crampton. “To do what we did in the first qualifying session today and then run a 3.6 was very cool. Hats off to Aaron Brooks and my Lucas Oil guys.”

Crampton said he had a suspicion Brooks was going to throw the kitchen sink at the track.

“I knew we were going to try and do it. We all know what Aaron is like. When the weather is good he is not going to let an opportunity to roll the dice slide by him.

“I knew that he would be trying and that the car would be up to it, I just didn’t know if the track would hold it.

“I was confident but I wasn’t sure we were going to make it all the way down there. By half track I knew we were on a heck of a good run. It put me back in the seat so hard and I haven’t made runs like that for quite some time so it got my attention pretty good.”

The South Australian native said he could feel the tightness in the track from the driver’s seat.

“During the burnout you can feel the rear tyres hook up at the end of the burnout. Sometimes with as little stall in the clutches we use it can be hard to back up (reverse) as good as the race tracks can be.

“I nearly threw it away, it carried the front end so far off the starting line and drove me a little bit to the right, I had my hands full trying to get it back into the groove and keep it stuck.

“There’s probably 2000 ways to get it wrong and only a couple of ways to get it right.”

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