GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton is hoping his American Top Fuel dream run will continue this weekend in Minnesota – when the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals pull into Brainerd International Raceway.
Brainerd, 200km from Minnesota’s largest city Minneapolis, is a happy hunting ground for Morgan Lucas Racing – with the outfit tasting plenty of success there over the years.
"It's kind of a homecoming for Morgan Lucas Racing to go race in Brainerd," Crampton said.
"We love that track, and the people up there are fantastic.
That event means a huge amount to Lucas Oil and everyone on this team. We like racing in Minnesota, and the weather is normally favorable for some pretty good times as well.
"It's getting close to the Countdown to the Championship, and we are definitely looking to do some damage in Brainerd."
Crampton, the leading contender for the NHRA rookie of the year award, moved to the USA 10 years ago to pursue his dream of racing in Top Fuel.
He spent seven years on the Morgan Lucas Racing team as a crewmember, before replacing Morgan Lucas in the GEICO/Top Fuel dragster for 2014.
Crampton was on the crew when Lucas won in Brainerd back in 2012 and 2009, and cherishes the time spent in victory lane with Lucas Oil founders Forrest and Charlotte Lucas.
"It was pretty neat for me to watch Morgan receive the Wally from Forrest and Charlotte Lucas," the Lucas Oil-backed driver said.
"That would just be a cherry on top to win at the Lucas Oil race in Brainerd and put GEICO back in the winner's circle."
In the last eight races, Crampton has taken one win, two semifinal appearances, and an 11-7 round record. He is ninth in the Top Fuel points’ standings with two more races before the Countdown to the Championship begins.
Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3.30pm and 6 pm on Friday, and 1.30pm and 4 pm on Saturday. Eliminations begin at 11 am on Sunday. All local time (USA Central Time Zone).