By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
Englishtown, NJ – Rookie Geico Top Fuel dragster Richie Crampton has had a good win.
On May 20th, his girlfriend Stephanie welcomed the couple’s first baby, Emma, into the world. Less than two weeks later, Crampton won his first Wally at the 45th Toyota NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, New Jersey.
He defeated Doug Kalitta in the Top Fuel final. It was also the 100th different driver to win a Top Fuel race.
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Crampton went 3.819 at 320.51 mph to get the win. Kalitta went 3.848 at 317.34 mph in the losing effort.
“For us to get into the winner’s circle in a Toyota-sponsored car at the Toyota Summernationals, it’s a great deal,” Crampton said. “I had no idea somebody could possibly be the 100th new winner; it’s pretty special to get that.”
Kalitta was 1-0 against Crampton in prior events. This was the first time that the two drivers faced one another in a final round.
The Michigan native had the early advantage. He had the lead until half-track.
That’s when Crampton chased him down and took the lead. The Indiana native then remained in the lead through the rest of the race.
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Crampton won by 0.0098 seconds, or approx. 5 feet.
Kalitta was in his fifth final round of the season in the first 9 events. He is the current Top Fuel leader and hasn’t won at Englishtown since 2003.
Crampton’s boss Morgan Lucas was in attendance to see the Australian win. The Lucas Oil car, which was driven by Lucas, went into the semi-finals.
“This is all surreal right now. I’m really just living the dream. I know that’s cliché, but I’m super lucky,” Crampton added.
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