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Lucas Oil’s Richie Crampton expecting quick times at NHRA Nationals


Australia’s GEICO/Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton hopes favourable weather conditions expected at this weekend’s 30th annual NHRA Nationals will enable him make the quickest elapsed time in Top Fuel history.

Crampton, who has won twice in his rookie year, at Englishtown, New Jersey, and at the 60th annual US Nationals, will be looking for further glory at Maple Grove Raceway, near Reading, Pennsylvania.

The track is already home to the two quickest runs in Top Fuel history, with Antron Brown holding the national record of 3.701 seconds set in 2012, and Crampton would love to see his name atop that particular list.

"We're very excited to get to Reading," Crampton said.

"We all know it's going to be a heck of a fast race, and that's pretty exciting as a driver to know the conditions are probably going to be there to run some pretty stellar numbers."

The weather conditions are expected to be conducive for quick runs, and Morgan Lucas Racing crew chief Aaron Brooks knows how to tune a race car for that kind of weather.

Earlier this year in Englishtown, New Jersey, cooler temperatures made for quick passes, and Crampton went on to secure his maiden NHRA victory.

"That kind of weather scenario is where this GEICO team thrives," Crampton said.

"We'll be looking to finish out the Countdown a little better than what we started, and Reading is going to be a great place to do that." 

At the halfway point of the six-race Countdown to the Championship, Crampton is ninth in the Top Fuel points’ standings.

However, he's the only rookie in the elite class to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship and leads all newcomers with two victories.

Crampton, however, still hopes to make some noise at the remaining three races of the season and perhaps set the national record. 

"It's definitely in the back of our minds, given what happened last year," Crampton said.

"But there's no guarantees that everything is going to fall in place like that. We just know it's going to be fast; just how fast is going to be the question.

"We're definitely excited to try to throw down some really fast numbers, and I think it's going to be a pretty good show for the fans."

Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 2pm and 5 pm on Friday, and 12pm and 3pm, Saturday. Eliminations begin at 11am on Sunday. All local time (Eastern Time Zone).


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