Richie Crampton fell in the first round at the Southern Nationals in Atlanta earlier today.
Crampton did not score the qualifying pass that he would have liked. His best was a sub-300 mph run in the Friday evening session. The 3.870 second pass was good enough for fifth at the time, but was eventually bumped back to 11th. That meant for the sixth time in seven races to start the year, Crampton drew his teammate in the first round.
Crampton and Kalitta were the seventh pair to see the track. Kalitta got the slight advantage at the starting line, but Crampton was right alongside until his Kalitta Air machine suffered woes and Kalitta scored the round win.
Qualified: No. 11 (3.870 sec., 294.43 mph)
E1: Crampton defeated by Kalitta – 4.470 sec., 186.56 mph to 3.845 sec., 323.58 mph
Quotable: “I am bummed for my Kalitta Air team. They are working hard and we keep coming up short. Excited for this week off to get back right with my driving; I am confident we will be ones to watch in Topeka.”
Point Standings: Ninth; leads Mike Salinas by five points for 10th; trails Terry McMillen by 56 points for ninth
Kalitta Motorsports PR/Photo Gary Nastase Photography