Richie Crampton used the two days of testing for the upcoming 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals to prove his Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster will be among the favourites to once again win drag racing’s biggest prize.
Crampton opened the action Wednesday with a blistering 3.706-second pass at 320.28 mph, which was well below the four-year-old track elapsed time record of 3.740 seconds set by Shawn Langdon in 2012. He then backed up his performance with a stunning 3.676 at 323.58 mph, another potential track record and his own personal best mark.
“Being the quickest car both days is very rewarding,” said Crampton, who hails from Adelaide, South Australia, but now resides in Brownsburg, Ind. “Aaron (Brooks, crew chief) and the guys have figured a lot of stuff out lately and it’s coming at the perfect time with Indy and the Countdown to the Championship right on front of us.
“We ran a 3.696 up in Seattle a few weeks ago, which was my personal best, so it wasn’t a complete surprise to run another 3.60 here, but running 3.60’s isn’t everything in this sport. We know we need to get our car to run in the heat also. Right now we’re digging the cooler conditions and I personally hope it stays this way next weekend.”
The 62nd annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals runs from Sept. 1-5 at Lucas Oil Raceway in Indianapolis. The event is NHRA drag racing’s premiere race and awards 50-percent more points for each round win, making it vitally important for positioning in the upcoming six-race playoff.
“Indy’s huge in so many ways,” Crampton said. “We were lucky enough to win it in 2014 and then Morgan (Lucas, car owner and teammate) came back and won it again last year so Morgan Lucas Racing is on a bit of a roll here.
“His car showed some promise in testing also so our overall team approach heading into our biggest weekend of the year is very sound.”
“Thanks to everyone who helped today and big thanks to all the people in Australia for supporting what we do.”