Richie Crampton and Steve Harker have reached the finals of their respective classes at the 4Wide Nationals held in Charlottle, North Carolina at Zmax Dragway.

Top Fuel

Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton battled his way to a final-round appearance on Sunday during his second career start at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Charlotte. 

Matched up against Pat Dakin, Chris Karamesines, and Brittany Force in the first quad of eliminations, Crampton pedaled his way on to the next round. He then recorded a 3.741 in the semi final round against Force, Tony Schumacher, and Clay Millican to move on to the final.

Though he kept pace with Antron Brown, Steve Torrence, and Millican in the final round, Crampton came up just short when he had to pedal his Lucas Oil dragster before crossing the finish line. 

“The only two finals I’ve ever been in we were able to win, so I’ve been very spoiled so far in my career,” Crampton said. “It definitely stings a bit more though when you can taste the win and the Wally but don’t get to go home with it. 

“But for us to come in here this weekend and gather some valuable points at one of the most crapshoot kind of races we go to in the season, we have our heads held high. It was a good weekend overall.” 

After cutting three solid reaction times, a .024 in round one, a .058 in the semi finals, and a .063 in the final, Crampton feels like he was able to overcome the excitement of the different four-wide racing style. 

“All of the emotions and the kind of stress that this staging procedure puts on everybody,” Crampton said, “I think it brings the playing field back down to my level a little bit at times.

“I’m really happy about the way I drove today, and hopefully I can continue to do that at the next few races. If I can, we’ll be looking good.”

Drawing himself within striking distance of Doug Kalitta in the points standings, Crampton finds himself in sixth place, only six points behind as he moves up the ranks and looks for more. 

“Right now we’re nipping at the heels of Kalitta in the No. 5 position,” Crampton said. “The points are already looking good so far this season and the car is running fairly well; we’re just missing the little luck on race day that you need sometimes. It’s just the type of start to the season that we want though.” 

Crampton will now turn his sights to the NHRA Nationals, April 10-12, in Las Vegas.


Top Alcohol Funny Car

Steve Harker reached his second consecutive final round when he matched up with world-beater Jonnie Lindberg who set a new Top Alcohol Funny Car elapsed time world record of 5.361 earlier in the weekend. 

Lindberg had the starting line advantage and never trailed on a 5.406 at 269.94 mph as Harker shut off early thanks to a case of violent tyre shake.

Harker earlier had defeated John Headley before setting a new personal best in his Round 2 win over Paul Noakes with a 5.406 at 268.49 mph. That pass also represented the third quickest pass in NHRA Alcohol Funny Car history at that juncture.

He then defeated Kris Hool to reach his second final in as many attempts this season.

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