Australian NHRA Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton has taken his second win of the 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing season and the fourth win of his short career at the Lucas Oil Kansas Nationals, held at Heartland Park Raceway, Topeka.
Crampton paired up with veteran Larry Dixon in the final, beating him with a 3.738 second pass at 318.09 mph (512km/h) to Dixon’s 3.787-second run.
The win sees Crampton move past fellow countryman David Grubnic as the most winning Australian in NHRA professional drag racing, with four wins in four final round appearances in less than 12 months, compared to Grubnic’s three wins from 17 final rounds over his 15 year career.
“It’s huge to get two wins so early in my sophomore season. It’s surreal.” Crampton said.
“Being undefeated in finals is pretty special. It says a lot about [crew chief] Aaron Brooks and the Lucas Oil team.
“It’s pretty neat to have won four events, the most any Australian has won in a pro category in the NHRA. I’m on top of the world right now.”
Earlier in the day, Crampton set a new track record as he posted the fifth quickest pass in NHRA history at just 3.710-seconds, in round two against Spencer Massey.
Crampton said the victory made up for a mistake at the previous event, the Southern Nationals in Atlanta last weekend.
“Winning feels like redemption for red-lighting,” Crampton said.
“I still can’t believe I get to race against Larry Dixon. It wasn’t all that long ago I used to watch him on TV, and now I’ve beaten him in two finals.
“Brooks gave me a great car all weekend and our consistent passes show that. He has it figured out for all weather conditions, and we’re confident at Morgan Lucas Racing of contending for a championship this year.
“I still have a bit to learn as a second-year driver and I still feel like a rookie, but I race a championship-calibre car for a championship-calibre team.
“I’ve got the best group of guys around me and I can’t thank Morgan Lucas Racing and Lucas Oil enough. All of this is a dream come true.”
The Adelaide native was untouchable through eliminations, defeating Kyle Wurtzel, Massey and fellow Lucas Oil racer Brittany Force on his way to the final.
The victory sees Crampton leapfrog three positions in the Mello Yello Drag Racing Series standings, jumping from sixth to third, just 81 points off leader Antron Brown.
The series heads to Englishtown, New Jersey, for round nine of the series, the Toyota Summernationals on 4-7 June – the event at which Crampton secured his maiden NHRA win last year.