Countdown Contender Crampton Cruising for Second Playoff Win in Charlotte

Kalitta Motorsports Photo

The DHL Kalitta Air Top Fuel dragster team and driver Richie Crampton will be looking to continue their rise in the Mello Yello point standings this weekend at the NTK Carolina NHRA Nationals. The winner of the first race of the 2019 Countdown pulled a tough draw in the second race in St. Louis facing his teammate and Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta in the first round. Beginning Friday at zMax Dragway Crampton, a two race winner this season, is concentrating on getting a quick start and grabbing qualifying bonus points.

“We have made up some ground on the teams at the top of the point standings but we need to continue to close that gap,” said Crampton. “The best way to do that is to get some of those bonus points and qualifying in one of the top spots.”

The young Australian is thrilled to be racing for drag racing legend Connie Kalitta and knows that when he gets behind the wheel he will have a quality set-up. Crampton’s win at the start of the Countdown was the tenth of his career racing Top Fuel and equaled the race total of team owner and his crew chief Kalitta.

“To have as many Top Fuel wins as Connie Kalitta is an amazing accomplishment,” said Crampton. “He is a racer’s racer and to be able to represent him at the races is a big responsibility. We have great partners in DHL and Toyota that expect wins and top performance. This whole Kalitta team is looking to get as many wins as possible to close out the season.”

Two years ago Crampton was the runner-up finished to Doug Kalitta at the Carolina Nationals. The pair also raced each other two races ago in Pennsylvania with Crampton coming out on top. Crampton would love to keep the all Kalitta final round streak alive. Last race Funny Car teammates J.R. Todd and Shawn Langdon faced each other in the St. Louis final round.

“The goal every race is to get two Team Kalitta race cars in the final round,” said Crampton. “You don’t want to run into each other early on race day. We are all in the championship hunt and the more Countdown contenders we can knock out the better it is for everyone. This championship is going to come down to Pomona and I just want to make sure that this DHL Kalitta Air dragster is in the fight on the last day of the season.”

2018 NHRA Carolina Nationals Highlights: Qual. No. 10; Lost to Leah Pritchett

Last Event Recap (2019 NHRA Midwest Nationals): Qual. No. 7; Lost to Doug Kalitta

Quotable: Crampton on heading to Charlotte: “We had a tough draw in the first round in St. Louis but we know this DHL Kalitta Air dragster is a strong race car. We have one win in the Countdown and we would like to pick up another one in Charlotte this weekend.”

Career Stats: 123 events, 122 starts, 103 round wins, 10 wins, 12 finals, 5 No. 1 qualifiers

2019 Season:
Winternationals: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Terry McMillen
Arizona Nationals: Qual. No. 15; Lost to Terry McMillen
Gatornationals: Qual. No. 12; WINNER, Beat Antron Brown, Leah Pritchett, TJ Zizzo and Clay Millican
Las Vegas1: Qual. No. 6; Beat Scott Palmer, Cameron Ferre; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Brittany Force
Houston: Qual. No. 13; Lost to Clay Millican
Charlotte1: Qual. No. 12; Lost to Doug Kalitta and Leah Pritchett
Atlanta: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Scott Palmer
Richmond: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Austin Prock
Chicago: Qual. No. 11; Beat Austin Prock; Lost to Steve Torrence
Topeka: Qual. No. 7; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Billy Torrence
Bristol: Qual. No. 9; Lost to Terry McMillen
Norwalk: Qual. No. 8; Lost to Billy Torrence
Epping: Qual. No. 2; Beat Audrey Worm, bye; Lost to Steve Torrence
Denver: Qual. No. 8; Beat Austin Prock; Lost to Steve Torrence
Sonoma: Qual. No. 7; Beat Terry McMillen; Lost to Steve Torrence
Seattle: Qual. No. 6; Lost to Antron Brown
Brainerd: Qual. No. 11; Lost to Clay Millican
Indianapolis: Qual. No. 5; Lost to Austin Prock
Reading: Qual. No. 4; WINNER; Beat Dan Mercier, Antron Brown, Brittany Force and Doug Kalitta
St. Louis: Qual. No. 7; Lost to Doug Kalitta

Kalitta Motorsports PR

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