Richie Crampton showed from the opening round of the NHRA World Finals he was not going to end his season with a whimper.
He began with a pedalling, never-give-up win against Mike Salinas and Crampton carried through to a final round appearance against teammate Doug Kalitta. There Crampton was looking for a repeat of the Reading NHRA Nationals where he took the win, but Kalitta grabbed a jump off the starting line and was on a smooth run as Crampton smoked the tires.
"That was a great race. Both race cars were definitely tuned up. We got pretty aggressive because the conditions were getting better. I had to pedal it but what a day for Kalitta Motorsports. We got two dragsters to the finals to start the Countdown and we ended the Countdown with an all-Kalitta final round. I have to thank everyone at DHL and Toyota for a great season," Crampton said.
The long day jumped Crampton up to the No. 6 position in the Top Fuel standings to end the season.
"Doug is an amazing competitor. You look at how strong that Mac Tools team was all season we knew it would be a tough race. We got them at the first race of the Countdown and we would have loved to have closed the season with another win."
While there was plenty of positivity for the day, there are rumours swirling around Crampton's ride for next season. TV announcers mentioned during the event that Crampton was currently without a drive for next year, while the image accompanying the team's press release had the mysterious file name "Richies_last_ride.jpg". There is plenty of gossip about who will be driving what next season at Kalitta Motorsport, so we will just have to wait and see who is at Pomona in February once the dust settles!