Both NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car champion and Top Fuel pilot Richie Crampton were in action this past weekend at the Amalie Motor Oil NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Florida.
Top Alcohol Funny Car
2014 NHRA Top Alcohol Funny Car champion Steve Harker has started his title defence in strong fashion with a runner up placing in his first event of the year.
In Australia just six days prior, Harker qualified in second position to negotiate round wins over Marie Ferriolo, Matt Gill and Mickey Ferro to set up a final showdown with Uld Leanders chasing his first national NHRA event win in just his second national event final.
Leanders had the starting line advantage and never trailed for the win with a 5.541 at 261.47 mph from Harker’s 5.626 at 256.80 mph.
Lucas Oil/GEICO Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton put in another solid performance to remain a career-best sixth in the points standings.
Starting the day off paired up against No. 9 qualifier Steve Torrence in the first round of eliminations, Crampton made his best run of the weekend to advance with a 3.783-second pass at 320.05 mph, compared to Torrence’s 3.859-second pass at 321.81 mph.
Meeting Shawn Langdon for the second time in the second round this season, Crampton knew what to expect this time around. After leaving the line first with a .076 reaction time compared to Langdon’s .080, Crampton was looking to build a gap and punch his ticket to the semi finals. However, a dropped cylinder slowed Crampton down, allowing Langdon’s pass of 3.830 seconds to beat out Crampton’s 3.866.
“It’s a small victory for me to leave on someone like Shawn Langdon,” Crampton said. “I was .076 to his .080, so he was actually a little bit slower than normal and I was just a tad better than I had been this weekend. But while it was definitely a good feeling to leave on him, he had quickly gotten by us at half-track after that. It happens though.
“We were on a hell of a good pass until we dropped that cylinder and had some issues after that. We have our head held high though. It was a good weekend; no complaints here.”
Crampton will look to continue his consistency when the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series heads to Charlotte for the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, March 27-29.