BROWNSBURG, IN – August 25, 2016 – (Motor Sports Newswire) – Richie Crampton, the 2014 Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner, posted the quickest time in Top Fuel Wednesday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis during the opening day of testing for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
Drivers of the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series took to the dragstrip for the first of a two-day test in preparation for the world’s most prestigious drag race, held Aug. 31-Sept. 5, at the famed NHRA-owned multi-purpose motorsports facility just west of downtown Indianapolis. The event, which will also feature the lucrative Traxxas Nitro Shootout for Top Fuel and Funny Car, is the final race in the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series regular season and will be televised by FOX and FOX Sports 1 with expanded coverage during Labor Day weekend.
Tickets for the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals are available by calling (800) 884-NHRA (6472) or logging on to www.NHRA.com/tickets.
Crampton, who also won the 2014 Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award, posted the quickest Top Fuel pass of the session when he navigated his Lucas Oil dragster down the track in 3.701 seconds at 320.28 mph. The time is quicker than the current Lucas Oil Raceway elapsed time track record of 3.740 seconds held by Shawn Langdon. Crampton unofficially broke the track elapsed time record at last year’s test session, too.
“We came out of the box swinging today,” said Crampton, who will enter the event eighth in the points standings. “The conditions were cool today which offered up some great track conditions. Not sure what the race is going to hold for us as far as weather goes so hopefully tomorrow we will see some warmer weather to get some more information for the Big Go.”
Brittany Force powered to the second quickest time in Top Fuel with a 3.725 at 324.40. The pilot of the Monster Energy dragster for John Force Racing tallied four runs in the 3.70-second range during the first day of testing. She is a three-time 2016 winner and will pull into the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals fourth in points.
“We’re excited to be here, especially coming off of a huge win for us,” said Force, who sprinted to victory last weekend at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn. “We tested today, made four runs and went down the racetrack every single time and ran in the low-3.70 range every single run. We’re happy. We got exactly what we needed to set us up for this next weekend. Each run we were testing something different and we didn’t know what it was going to do, but we are happy with what we got.”
Reigning Funny Car world champion Del Worsham hopped back into a Top Fuel dragster on Wednesday to help test Doug Kalitta’s Mac Tools machine. Worsham, who raced to the Funny Car victory last weekend in Brainerd in his DHL Toyota Camry, notched a 3.727 at 319.89 in Kalitta’s dragster for third best in Top Fuel. He is no stranger to a Top Fuel cockpit as he won the 2011 Top Fuel world championship.
Eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher recorded the fourth quickest time with a 3.743 at 322.50 in his U.S. Army dragster. Schumacher is a nine-time Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals winner and is currently fifth in points.
Reigning Top Fuel world champion Antron Brown raced to a 3.745 at 322.96 for fifth quickest on day. Brown, the points leader, has driven his Matco Tools dragster to the Winner’s Circle four times this season in eight final round appearances.
“We are working on things with the clutch pack, trying to implement a new disc in our pack and been working on some other things that we have been wanting to test,” said Brown, the 2011 Indianapolis event winner. “We got two good runs in which were quality runs. The car did exactly what we wanted it to do and we are learning. We are polishing what we got so we can finish the rest of the year. We are hitting our stride right where we want to and this test has been very crucial.”
Shawn Langdon was sixth in his Red Fuel / Sandvik Coromant dragster with a 3.835 at 264.60 while J.R. Todd was seventh in his SealMaster dragster with a 3.865 at 262.90. Wayne Newby followed in eighth with a 3.866 at 274.44.
Leah Pritchett, piloting the Papa John’s dragster for Don Schumacher Racing, was ninth with a 3.916 at 236.84. Pritchett is in a heated points battle with Terry McMillen, driver of the Amalie Motor Oil XTERMIGATOR dragster. The two are currently tied for 10th and will duke it out at the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals for the final spot in the Countdown to the Championship playoff. McMillen is not in attending the Indy test session.
Capping off Wednesday’s top-10 is Morgan Lucas, the reigning event champion, with a 4.329 at 186.90.
Funny Car teams also tested their 10,000 horsepower racecars on Wednesday at Lucas Oil Raceway. Tommy Johnson Jr. led the pack with a 3.890 at 324.12 in his Make-A-Wish Dodge Charger R/T. His time and speed are both quicker and faster than the current track records. Matt Hagan was second quickest with a 3.921 at 276.07 in his Mopar / Rocky Boots Dodge Charger R/T and was followed by Courtney Force in third with a 3.931 at 276.07 in her Traxxas Chevy Camaro.
Pro Stock Motorcycle’s Eddie Krawiec and Andrew Hines were also testing their Screamin’ Eagle Vance & Hines Harley-Davidsons on Wednesday. Krawiec, the category points leader, rode to a 6.823 at 194.88 to better teammate Hines. Hines crossed the finish line 6.892 at 193.90. Krawiec is a three-time 2016 event winner and won at Indy in 2014. Reigning world champ Hines sits second in the standings and trails Krawiec by only 42 points. Hines won at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 2012.
The second day of the closed test session will continue on Thursday at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
Below is a listing of each Top Fuel, Funny Car and Pro Stock Motorcycle competitor’s best performance from Wednesday’s testing:
1. Richie Crampton 3.706, 320.28
2. Brittany Force 3.725, 324.20 (Had four runs in the 3.70 range)
3. Del Worsham (In Doug Kalitta Mac Tools dragster) 3.727, 319.89
4. Tony Schumacher 3.743, 322.50
5. Antron Brown 3.745, 322.96
6. Shawn Langdon 3.835, 264.60
7. JR Todd 3.865, 262.90
8. Wayne Newby 3.890, 274.44
9. Leah Pritchett 3.916, 236.84
10. Morgan Lucas 4.329, 186.90
1. Tommy Johnson 3.890, 324.12 (ET is lower and speed higher than current track records)
2. Matt Hagan 3.921, 276.07
3. Courtney Force 3.931, 276.07
4. Del Worsham (In Alexis DeJoria Patron Tequila car) 3.983, 292.77
5. Chad Head 4.025, 259.46
6. Del Worsham (In Alexis DeJoria Patron Tequila car)
7. Robert Hight 7.067, 96.71
8. John Force 7.355, 87.85
Pro Stock Motorcycle
1. Eddie Krawiec 6.823, 194.88
2. Andrew Hines 6.892, 193.90
About National Hot Rod Association
Headquartered in Glendora, Calif., NHRA is the primary sanctioning body for the sport of drag racing in the United States. NHRA presents 23 national events featuring the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series and NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series. NHRA provides competition opportunities for drivers of all levels in the NHRA Summit Racing Series and the NHRA Drags: Street Legal Style presented by AAA. NHRA also offers NHRA Jr. Street for teens and the Summit Racing Jr. Drag Racing League for youth ages 5 to 17. In addition, NHRA owns and operates five racing facilities: Atlanta Dragway in Georgia; Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville in Florida; National Trail Raceway in Ohio; Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis; and Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in Southern California. For more information, log on to NHRA.com, or visit the official NHRA pages on Facebook, YouTube and Twitter.
Source: National Hot Rod Association