Australian Top Fuel racer Richie Crampton is set on adding this weekend’s 50th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at California's Pomona Raceway to his impressive list of 2014 achievements.
The GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel Dragster pilot has won the 60th annual Chevrolet Performance US Nationals and the 45th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals, and hopes to wrack up another marquee event in Pomona.
"Being the 50th annual Finals, it would be another sweet one to win," Crampton said.
"This year has already exceeded all my dreams and hopes, but it would be a perfect finish for the team to get one more at such a landmark race.”
Crampton admits he has mixed emotions heading to the California track after the run he’s had in 2014.
“It's bittersweet coming back to Pomona knowing the season is over because I don't want it to end,” Crampton said.
“I've had so much fun driving this car and spending all my time with a group of guys I can honestly say are my best friends in the world. At the same time, a break with my two girls (girlfriend Stephanie Laski and baby Emma) will be very nice. I think we've all earned some downtime."
Car owner and teammate Morgan Lucas will join Crampton at Pomona - something he hopes will act as an omen for the weekend.
“We seem to have better results when Morgan is around," Crampton said.
"That Lucas Oil/GEICO dragster team has its own part-time crew, but we all kind of jump in and help on both cars whenever they've raced with us. It's actually a lot of fun, and the extra work tends to keep everyone a little more focused.”
"Our own dragster has been back on an upswing in the performance department lately, so between that and Morgan coming back to drive we are set to have a great weekend."
The final event of the year also serves as the last chance for Crampton to impress the voters for the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award, which is awarded to the sport’s top rookie.
"We'd love to bring home that very special award as you only get one chance at it," Crampton said.
"It's been a real honor just to be considered, and I hope our two wins, especially the one at Indy, got the votes we need.”