NHRA - National Hot Rod Association


Richie Crampton sees better days ahead for DHL team

Recent success has Richie Crampton thinking his second Top Fuel win of the season isn't going to be too far away.
07 Jun 2019
Kevin McKenna, NHRA National Dragster Senior Editor

Attitude is everything. Just ask Richie Crampton. A positive and upbeat guy by nature, Crampton rarely has a bad day, and that’s especially true anytime he’s at the racetrack. While he’ll readily admit that he’s frustrated by the recent struggles of his DHL Top Fuel team, Crampton doesn’t dwell on it.

“Of course, it’s frustrating because I want to win, and I know we can win,” said Cramton. “I also want to be deeper into the top ten but at the end of the day I’m still doing exactly what I want to do which is driving a Top Fuel dragster for Connie Kalitta. How could anyone be unhappy with that deal? I never take it for granted.”

Crampton has had his share of success this season. He successfully defended his title at the 50th annual Amalie Motor Oil Gatornationals. At that event, Crampton defeated Clay Millican in the final on a holeshot. It was Crampton’s ninth Top Fuel win in 11 career finals. Since then Kalitta Motorsports DHL car has struggled to win rounds. Cramton went winless in Houston, Charlotte, Atlanta, and Richmond and tumbled from fifth to ninth in the points standings.

More recently, Crampton defeated rookie Austin Prock in the first round of last weekend’s Route 66 Nationals in Chicago and looked good doing it with a very competitive 3.75 run, one of the best of the round. Crampton insists that nothing has changed this year except his results.

“Sometimes there is no rhyme or reason to these things,” said Cramton. “By nature, nitro cars are temperamental s-boxes. People ask, ‘Why can’t you run like that every week?’ and I wish I knew the recipe, but I don’t. As a driver, I just do the best job that I can do and try to keep a positive attitude. I mean happiness is a choice, right?”

Crampton kicked off his weekend in Topeka with a competitive 3.867 that is good for the No. 3 spot behind the father-son team of Steve and Billy Torrence.