Richie Crampton exited the second round, Wayne Newby and Rapisarda Autosport did not qualify and Steve Harker has reached the semi finals at the 61st annual Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway, Indianapolis.

Top Fuel

Richie Crampton was hoping to repeat his 2014 win at the prestigious U.S. Nationals but it was not to be. 

Crampton faced teammate Morgan Lucas in the second round of eliminations and went down in a fight to the finish. Lucas turned in a slightly better reaction time and enjoyed a minor holeshot, but Crampton’s car was ahead at the 330-foot mark. Lucas fought back and was ahead of Crampton at the 660-foot mark. With both cars hazing the tyres at the top end, Lucas’ car hit the stripe first and lit the win light.

If you have to lose, perhaps it hurts slightly less if your teammate puts you on the trailer. 

“In the big picture, it was the Lucas Oil car going rounds whether it’s Morgan or my own,” said Crampton. 

“It really didn’t have any points implications. We were locked in third place. We couldn’t do any better or worse. 

“It’s great having my parents in from Australia. My mum, unfortunately, did not make the trip to Brainerd a couple weeks ago for our victory. We were hoping to do it again this weekend but it wasn’t to be. Nonetheless it’s been great having them here. That brightens your day after you get beat like I just did.” 

For the record books, Lucas ran 3.902 seconds at 297.42 mph (with a reaction time of .063) to Crampton’s 3.899 seconds at 301.62 mph (with a reaction time of .078). 

After battling the weekend heat and qualifying 14th, the Australian and his new Morgan Lucas Racing car met Steve Torrence in the first round of eliminations on Monday. Crampton pulled a holeshot on Torrence, who then began smoking his tires at the 200-foot point. Torrence pedaled the car, but his tyres began spinning again. Crampton had a good lead by this time until suffering a supercharger explosion with approximately 200 feet to go. Crampton’s car coasted across the finish line ahead of Torrence to advance to the second round. 

Crampton will enter the Countdown to the Championship, which begins Sept. 18-20 in Charlotte, N.C., locked in third place in Top Fuel points.

Following his NHRA debut in a first round exit in Brainerd, Minnesota, Wayne Newby and Rapisarda Autosport endured a tough outing by qualifying 20th position with a 4.387.

“We struggled all weekend,” said Newby. “Our first run today (Sunday) was very similar to how we went yesterday. The car left all right and I thought we were going to make it, then we smoked the tyres around the 330 foot mark. The positive was we never damaged any parts. Then on the second run the car went up in smoke on the hit.”


Top Alcohol Funny Car

Defending NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car champion Steve Harker qualified in second position with a best of 5.509 and rode his good form all the way to the semi finals.

Harker defeated Steve Burck in round 1 on a strong 5.575 when Burck slowed at 1000 feet in what was shaping up to be a great pass. He then beat out Todd Veney in round 2 with a 5.562 to book a place in the semi finals. 

Unfortunately the chutes came out around 600 feet in the semi final match up with Annie Whiteley after gaining the holeshot advantage to end his campaign prematurely.