Richie Crampton qualified number 1 and set a new track record while Steven Ham made his NHRA debut at the Nortthwest Nationals in Seattle over the weekend.

Top Fuel

Richie Crampton had a successful run in the NHRA Northwest Nationals this weekend at Pacific Raceways.

Not only did the second-year driver take home the track record for elapsed time, Crampton also snared the No. 1 qualifying spot and moved up one position in the Top Fuel points standings to fourth. 

“We definitely had a fantastic weekend here at Seattle,” said Crampton, who exited in the second round of eliminations on Sunday. “We gained a position in the points, which is always good, so we’re pecking away at that. We’ve definitely got a good race car under us still. 

“We came up short a little against Shawn (Langdon), but we’re excited to get to Brainerd (Minn.). I think we’re going to show them what we’re really working with.”

After setting low ET of the first round, Crampton smoked the tires at the hit in a second-round matchup with Langdon. It was the first time all weekend that Crampton’s Lucas Oil dragster made a run slower than 3.849 seconds.

“That first 60 feet of the run, (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) had this race car dialed in all weekend,” Crampton said. “That was definitely not a place where we were concerned about blowing the tires off like that. It was very uncharacteristic, but we’ll figure out what exactly we did there. It was going to be a good race, that’s for sure.”

Crampton set the track record in qualifying, 3.727 seconds, to take the No. 1 qualifier for the first time this year. That put him against No. 16 qualifier Ron Smith in the first round, but after Smith had to shut off, Crampton made a single run of 3.740 seconds at 322.96 mph that was the best of the round.

Crampton’s second-round pass was 9.909 seconds at 82.35 mph while Langdon went to the semifinals with a 3.810-second pass at 301.07 mph.


Top Alcohol Funny Car

2014 Australian Top Alcohol Champion Steven Ham made his long awaited NHRA debut in Alcohol Funny Car but unfortunately just missed the cut. 

Ham drove through tyre shake on his first pass for a 6.416 at 234.82 mph before a good looking second qualifier ended with a big bang at the top end of the race track resulting in a 6.078 at 179.11 mph. 

The third and final qualifier was a 6.522 at 248.34 mph meaning Ham did not qualify but at least has some NHRA experience under the belt.