Richie Crampton secured his 5th Wally for 2015, Steve Harker exited Top Alcohol in Round 1 and in Super Gas Matt Forbes was eliminated in the first round at the AAA Texas NHRA Fall Nationals.
In Top Fuel, Crampton pushed his Lucas Oil dragster to a 3.972 at 283.07 win over Texas native Steve Torrence in the final. Crampton, the 2014 Auto Club of California Road to the Future Award winner, earned his seventh career victory, fifth of the year and first at Dallas. The naturalised U.S. citizen and native of Adelaide, Australia moves to third in points with two races remaining.
“We started out pretty strong in qualifying,” said Crampton. “You figure you might have an easy first-round if you qualify in the top-half, but we pulled Doug Kalitta, and that team is tough. We were really lucky to throw that 3.70 down and get around him. Our race car fought us all day long from that point on. I was helping the guys change clutch controls between rounds twice today, and that’s a pretty big process. At the end of the day, I’m just beat.”
Starting out of 6th position thanks to identical 5.453 ET’s from both Sean Bellemuer and Annie Whitely matched his own, Steve Harker’s weekend would come to an abrupt end in Round 1.
Harker rattled the tyres off the line, veered left and then backed off the throttle as he watched Shane Westerfield take the win with a 5.498 at 263.41 mph.
Two-time Australian Super Gas champion Matt Forbes debuted at his first ever National NHRA event but unfortunately it ended early in Round 1 against Eddy Plaizier.
Forbes had the reaction advantage with a .001 light to a .010 but Plaizier pulled out the win when Forbes recorded a 9.866 to a 9.894.
“Unfortunately for me the W was in the other lane,” said Forbes. “We left first with a .001 to our opponents .010 and the car picked up 4 in the 60′ and was going a lot quicker than I expected. Eddy is a clever racer and was making a great pass in the other lane, I didn’t want to get too cute with such an accomplished and respected racer and felt I didn’t need to tighten the stripe up too much. I turns out I did need too! I needed to be 00 and take 00 to win.
“Well done to my opponent for a great race. Although it didn’t go my way I enjoyed the experience immensely.”