Australia has a new NHRA-licensed Top Fuel driver with expat-Adelaide drag racer Richard Crampton earning his prized credentials at Indianapolis Raceway Park today.
A long-time member of Morgan Lucas's team, Crampton underwent his licensing runs in Lucas' Geico/Lucas Oils dragster and MLR team-mate Brandon Bernstein's Protect The Harvest/MAV-TV car.
Under the watchful eyes of Lucas, Bernstein and leading NHRA Funny Car driver Ron Capps, the 30-year-old Crampton officially secured his ticket with quick passes of 3.85sec at 307mph and 3.86/314.
Lucas tweeted soon after "@richocrampton is officially licensed top fuel pilot. Not a person here that wouldn't sign that license" with Capps replying "Tell him nice job".
On his personal Facebook account, Crampton posted: "Thank you to all at Morgan Lucas Racing for giving me the opportunity to fulfil a lifelong dream of obtaining my Top Fuel license. I am the luckiest guy in the world."
Crampton headed to the US as part of the Cowin Family Top Fuel team in 2004, staying on when the Cowins returned home the following year. He worked for NHRA powerhouse Don Schumacher Racing before joining MLR in 2008.
While he does not have a full-time seat, the Indy-based Crampton is now a potential candidate to substitute for Bernstein who is suffering from a serious back issue and recently missed a number of events.
Drag racing's most prestigious event, the Chevrolet Performance US Nationals, begins next Thursday at Indianapolis Raceway Park.