Spoiler alert – Crampton strong in Pomona qualifying

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GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton continues to show speed in Pomona, qualifying number two for this weekend’s season-opening Circle K NHRA Winternationals.
Crampton, the 2014 Road to the Future Award winner as NHRA’s top rookie, qualified No. 1 in Pomona last November, and Morgan Lucas Racing teammate Morgan Lucas won the race.

Crampton’s pass of 3.730 seconds at 328.46 mph was tops of three terrific passes at this event; a fourth was washed out when rain forced NHRA to cancel the final qualifying session.

“Perfect way to start the year: three solid runs,” Crampton said. “(Crew chief) Aaron (Brooks is) picking up right where we left off at the NHRA Finals; that car is running great. It’s very exciting to go into race day with that good of a car.”

Brooks and Crampton were going to go for the national elapsed-time record in Q4, knowing they were solidly in the field. Alas, rain ended that chance.

“We were solidly qualified at No. 2 with a 3.73, and we had nothing to lose but to try and run that first official 3.6-second pass in NHRA history,” Crampton said. “That’s what we were going for, and I’m extremely disappointed that the rain came, but that’s how it works. We’ll just focus on trying to win tomorrow.”

Crampton begins his sophomore season against J.R. Todd, who qualified No. 15 with a pass of 3.914 seconds at 242.54 mph. With one full year of racing in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, Crampton carries a lot of confidence into this season.

“It’s a night and day difference,” Crampton said. “I come in here on the front foot instead of the back foot. I’m ready to go race and not be intimidated. It’s exciting to be this confident and driving such a fantastic race car. It should equal some round-wins and hopefully a trophy.”


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