Crampton’s strong on the tree in his full-time Kalitta debut

Richie Crampton, driver of the Kalitta Air Top Fuel Dragster, was defeated by his teammate, Doug Kalitta, in the first round despite a class-best .033 reaction time.

Crew chiefs Connie Kalitta and Rob Flynn never got a qualifying pass that they were fully happy with. Crampton’s best was a 3.782 at only 314.75 mph. That seeded Crampton in the 10th position and with a short field, lined him up against his teammate, Doug Kalitta.

Crampton and Kalitta were part of a marathon Top Fuel session. However, they were still focused once they reached the starting line. Crampton destroyed the tree with a .033 reaction time, but shortly after his Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster encountered tire smoke. Crampton pedaled but was unable to catch up to Kalitta despite his eventual troubles before the finish line.

Qualified: No. 10 (3.782 sec., 314.75 mph)

E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta – 4.121 sec., 217.56 mph to 4.234 sec., no speed recorded

Quotable: “It was good start simply to be here running the full 2018 season. We’re still battling consistency.  It wasn’t the ideal situation to have to run our teammate in the first round. We knew we had to go for it because Doug Kalitta and that Mac Tools Toyota team are among the best out here. Unfortunately, we didn’t quite hit our marks and fell to Doug. That’s ok.  We’ll regroup.  I’m looking forward to when we get to Phoenix. We tested pretty well there.  I think that’s going to be pretty valuable for us to get dialed in when we get over there to qualify. I think we’re going to have a good race there in the Kalitta Air DHL Toyota team.”

Point Standings: 13th; trails Terry McMillen by one point for 12th

TEAM KALITTA PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography

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