Following his second win of the season, Deric Kramer is back in the battle for the Mello Yello Pro Stock championship. Ranked in eighth place following the first two rounds of the Countdown to the Championship playoffs, Kramer knew he’d need a big effort going forward in order to have a shot at the title, and the American Ethanol driver delivered with his fourth career victory. Kramer drove to a 6.541 in the final to edge Matt Hartford, who was close behind with a 6.558. With the win, Kramer is 88 points behind leader Erica Enders/
“This gives us a chance,” said Kramer, who also won his first Pro Stock title on a Monday a year ago in Topeka. “That’s all we wanted was a chance. We didn’t’ do so well at the last race in St. Louis and we just wanted a chance to redeem ourselves and that’s what we did. This is another race win on a Monday. All I can say is we like the rain.”
Kramer was the No. 10 qualifier but found his groove in Monday’s rain-delayed final rounds with wins against Kenny Delco, Jeg Coughlin Jr., and upstart Aaron Stanfield. Kramer’s KB Racing-powered Chevy was not only quick but consistent with a pair of 6.53 runs and a 6.54. More importantly, Kramer managed to avoid the rash of holeshots that took out several of the leading title contenders including Bo Butner, Alex Laughlin, Greg Anderson, and incoming points leader Jason Line, who lost to Shane Tucker, 6.57 to 6.54 in perhaps the biggest shocker of the day.
As much as he wanted a win, Hartford and his Total Seal team had a huge points day with their second-straight final round appearance. After losing in the final of the AAA Insurance NHRA Midwest Nationals two weeks ago, Hartford continued to turn on win lights in Charlotte with victories against Fernando Cuadra Jr. and Chris McGaha, before a huge semifinal win against Enders, who left first, but shook the tires and slowed. In three Countdown events, Hartford has two runner-up finishes and he’s just 19-points out of the lead with three races remaining.