A week ago, Deric Kramer won his third NHRA Pro Stock race when he drove his American Ethanol Camaro to a final round win over Erica Enders in Chicago. With no Pro Stock class in Topeka, Kramer and his Wally trophy returned to Denver for a well-deserved week off but his father, David, and younger sister, Daria, are racing at this weekend’s Menard’s NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties. David is making his debut in the SAM Tech.edu Factory Stock Showdown while Daria is competing in her first national event in Stock Eliminator. Both of the Kramer’s are wheeling COPO Camaro entries.
A loyal Comp racer for many years, David won the 2002 Mopar Mile-High Nationals, his home event. Recently, he’s been racing a Hemi-powered A/Dragster but has parked that car in favor of the team’s new Factory Stock COPO. Kramer debuted the car last week in Chicago, where he made shakedown runs in Comp Eliminator. The car is powered by an engine built by KB Racing’s Jason Line, who also supplied the power for Deric’s Pro Stock wins. In Q1 in Topeka, Kramer ran an 8.43 at 165.86 mph.
“We learned a lot when we tested in Chicago but obviously, there is still a lot to be learned with this car,” said Kramer. “It’s all new to us. Last week, we found we had a bad cam sensor and it wouldn’t let us rev the engine over 9,000 rpm. We changed it, went to Denver and made a few test runs. We got it to rev to 9,400 so that was a big improvement. I’ve been short-shifting this car just to get used to it so I know there is a lot more potential. I think we should be able to run 8.1s and we’ll see if that’s enough to qualify.”
Kramer admits that his six-second dragster is a thrilling ride, but he’s becoming a big fan of the COPO, which is limited by rule to a nine-inch wide rear tire.
“They are very different, that’s for sure, but I like the COPO,” said Kramer. “It is very smooth and you almost don’t realize how fast you’re going. It is deceptive.”
Much like her father, Daria, 22, is also taking a cautious approach to her first event. Unlike many young racers, she did start in a Jr. Dragster or a bracket car. She’s jumping right into the deep end with her ’17 FS/AA COPO Camaro, which should be capable of solid eight-second performances.
“I just got my license about three weeks ago,” said Daria, who is a recent graduate from Colorado State University. “This is my first time. I raced one time when I was 16 in a V6 Camaro. That’s the only other experience I have. I love it. I’m a little bit of a thrill-seeker so this is perfect. Everyone laughs, but I’d like to try Pro Stock one day just so I can beat my brother. Our whole family is pretty competitive.”