Search for in
NHRA LODRS IHRA Drag News Photos
Thu, 23 Jan 2014, 15:56 PM

Test Session Adds to Comfort Level for GEICO/Lucas Oil Rookie Crampton
Courtesy of Rob Geiger
Photo copyright 2014 Mark Rebilas





BROWNSBURG, Ind. --

Richie Crampton
Safely back at Morgan Lucas Racing headquarters, rookie Top Fuel pilot Richie Crampton had time to reflect on his first official test session as driver of the 8,000-horsepower GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster.

"It was a test session I needed, for sure," Crampton said. "It was a good opportunity for things to settle in for me and the team. I needed a chance to make some of the rookie mistakes I'm going to make, and I'm glad I had the luxury of doing that down there."

Like many of the top teams in the sport, Crampton and the MLR crew headed south to West Palm Beach, Fla., last week for a lengthy preseason test in advance of the rapidly approaching 54th annual Circle K NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 6-9, in Pomona, Calif.

"We had the luxury of making 24 runs while we were down there," Crampton said. "That helped me get acclimated to driving in all types of scenarios: nighttime, daytime, heat, cold, and even with someone in the other lane, which I hadn't done before.

"On top of everything going on with me being new, we had a number of crew guys shuffle positions as well, so we tried to do service work under race-day time constraints to get everyone used to their new jobs. It was a learning curve for everybody, and certainly no one was learning more than I was on every pass."


Richie Crampton
Although new to the cockpit of a Top Fuel car, Crampton has been with the team since it's earliest days, making the transition easier for everyone. That showed towards the end of their stay when Crampton peeled off a 3.800-second run at 323.90 mph, his best to date.

"Making that pass was a huge confidence builder for me," Crampton said. "It felt great to get down through there. It was the smoothest the car had felt to that point. Once I knew the car had made it through the zones we'd had troubles with and it was still so smooth, I was like, 'Here we go, this one is going to be real good.' Before I knew it, the finish line cones were coming up. It was a great feeling to pull the parachutes.

"Having had this test I can really mentally prepare myself for what's next. I'm making so many runs in my head. I want everything to become second nature. I want to work on creating better reaction times. I'm figuring out how to block out all the other stuff and focus in on what I need to do to be better on the tree. I don't want to hold up this team in any way.

"By the end of the week, I could feel the chemistry is there, the team is outstanding, and (crew chief) Aaron Brooks is making great horsepower. I was excited already but now I really can't wait for Pomona."

Qualifying for the season-opening Winternationals will air from 8-10 p.m. PT, Saturday, on ESPN2, with final eliminations from 5-8 p.m., Sunday, on the flagship ESPN.

GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton made 24 runs during preseason testing in Florida in preparation for his rookie campaign.





NHRA: 10 Most Recent Entries [ top ]

Apr 23- Anderson Back in the Seat of Summit Racing Hot Rod in Houston
Apr 22- HOUSTON - Texan Steve Torrence has First Texas Top Fuel Win in Sights
Apr 22- J&A Service Named presenting Sponsor of NHRA Pro Mod Drag Racing Series Event in Houston
Apr 22- Impact Custom Mouthguards Help Protect 320-MPH Smiles
Apr 21- Rottler Partners with Team Wilkerson
Apr 21- Jesse James to Unveil Jesse James Firearms Unlimited Top Fuel Dragster
Apr 21- FEATURE- Remembering On Tour with Steve Reyes
Apr 19- HOUSTON - Top Fuel Standout Bob Vandergriff Aiming for the Stars
Apr 19- NHRA Announces Marketing Partnership with Pilot Flying J
Apr 19- Lincoln Technical Institute Renews as Official Technical School of NHRA

Copyright ©2014 AUTOSALES INC, dba Summit Racing Equipment
Ready to take your order at 1-800-230-3030 | Customer Service 1-800-517-1035