Australian Lucas Oil Top Fuel racer Richie Crampton is fixed on sealing the Road to the Future award as he heads into the final two NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series rounds as the leading contender.
Crampton heads to Las Vegas Motor Speedway as the highest placed rookie with two wins in the GEICO/Lucas Oil car, and the only rookie to make the Countdown to the Championship.
"From the beginning of the season, I really had my eyes set on trying to win the Road to the Future Award," Crampton said.
"I knew it wasn't going to be easy, but that was definitely the number one priority. We wanted to finish well and contend for the championship, but the rookie award was something I've been focused on trying to achieve.”
The rookie of the year will be capped at the NHRA Awards Ceremony on 17 November, after the final at Pomona.
"I really want to try to do well in these last two races because you never know what next year is going to bring," Crampton said.
"Finishing out the year well and bringing some confidence into next season would be huge. I want to keep pushing forward and try to win more rounds and races and take this rookie of the year award home."
Crampton’s season highlights include his maiden career victory at Englishtown, New Jersey – becoming the 100th Top Fuel winner – and his U.S. Nationals win but the Australian said racing in the NHRA has been an ongoing achievement itself.
“To stand back and look at what I’ve been given the opportunity to do this year is remarkable. By far that’s been the most enjoyable part of the year, just doing what I dreamed of for so long,” Crampton said.
"I flat-out love rolling into all these racetracks as a driver and getting to drive a Top Fuel dragster down them.”
Qualifying at The Strip takes place on Friday and Saturday with eliminations on Sunday.