It wasn’t a great weekend for Aussies at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio last weekend.

Top Fuel

Summit Motorsports Park wasn’t kind to Lucas Oil driver Richie Crampton, who failed to qualify for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals on Saturday.

It’s the first time in Crampton’s career that he has missed a race, snapping a streak of 35 consecutive races, of which he won five.

After winning in Las Vegas and Topeka, Kan., earlier this season, Crampton lost in the first round at the next race, and after winning at Bristol Dragway two weeks ago, he came up short in making the field this weekend.

“We’ve had our fair share of success and good luck this year, so it puts it all in perspective,” Crampton said. “It just goes to show how tough this Mello Yello series is. We weren’t good enough on the day to get it. I still have a huge amount of confidence in the team, and we all know we’ll get it turned around next week.”

Crampton, who is third in the Top Fuel points standings, made a best pass of 6.246 seconds at 118.65 mph, and he tried to pedal his way into the field in the final qualifying session, but it wasn’t enough.

“Early indications are we might’ve had a little gremlin that we overlooked earlier in the weekend,” Crampton said. “But at this point, until (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) goes through everything, I’m not exactly sure what’s been going on. Too little, too late. We needed to do better on Friday, and we’d be sitting pretty today, but it didn’t happen that way.”

Still, Crampton was able to smile after returning to his pit area, as daughter Emma and partner Stephanie Laski awaited him.

“Seeing your daughter and your girlfriend makes it all better,” Crampton said. “That’s my first DNQ. I wasn’t sure how I’d deal with that. Obviously, I’m desperate to win and compete and race. We definitely wanted to race here tomorrow and try to go back to back, but we’re pretty far from that right now.

“But nonetheless, we’ll dot the Is and cross the Ts and get everything figured out for Chicago.”


Top Alcohol Funny Car

NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car Champion Steve Harker qualified 12th when he couldn’t better his first run of 5.776. Unable to run any in his final two attempts, Harker set up a date in Round 1 eliminations with DJ Cox Jr. 

Cox had the advantage at the green and unfortunately Harker never got close the rest of the way running a 5.871 at 254.86 mph to Cox on a 5.652 at 255.82 mph.