Deric Kramer raced part time his entire career before racing almost full time in 2018. He planned to race a part-time schedule and wound up nearly racing full time. That makes the 2019 season his full-time debut in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing series, neatly timed with the Pro Stock class’ move to an 18-race schedule.
That brings us to now. Richmond marks Pro Stock’s return to action after taking three races and 41 days off. Many full-time professionals are getting back into a car for the first time since driving at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in Las Vegas – that comes with a set of challenges, especially given the high number of complications in a Pro Stock car.
That’s not to say Kramer won’t be challenged this weekend in Richmond. He just won’t be challenged any more than he has been in the past.
“I’m always like this,” said Kramer. “You pretty much put me in the car and then what you see is what you get.”
He’s self-effacing, but Kramer’s ability to get into the car as a blank slate is almost certainly a strength. It’s also one likely shared by some of the best drivers in the category. Kramer enters the category with a great race car, supplied by K.B. Racing, and the best reaction time average in the class (.022-second). That’s with only six rounds completed in 2019, but there’s never a bad time to lead.
Full disclosure: Kramer did get some seat time during Pro Stock’s break, but he wasn’t really testing. He hopped into one of his family’s old Dodge Darts (by old, I mean circa 2016) to break in some Goodyears for the NHRA Virginia Nationals. The car, which Kramer campaigned before switching to a Camaro in 2018, is now relegated to tire-mule duty.
His track partner at Bandimere Speedway may be the bigger story, though. His sister, Daria Kramer, started the process towards getting her Stock license. Daria is a senior at Colorado State University and will graduate this weekend (which is why you won’t see their dad, Dave Kramer, at the track this weekend). That means she’s getting the same opportunity Deric got when he graduated from DeVry.
So, there’s a very good chance we will see three Kramers take to the track when the NHRA tour moves to Denver in July as part of the Western Swing. Further down the road, keep an eye for Dave Kramer to take order of a COPO Camaro and get involved with the SAMTech.edu Factory Stock Showdown. They’ve been invested in NHRA for a long time, and that’s not changing anytime soon.