Compiled by SEMA Editors
HOT STREAK HAS CRAMPTON EXCITED FOR RETURN TO TOYOTA NHRA SUMMERNATIONALS: Richie Crampton has enjoyed a tremendous start to his NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel career, which includes winning the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future Award as NHRA’s top rookie in 2014. Two more wins have followed in the early stages of 2015 in Crampton’s 10,000hp Lucas Oil dragster, but every breakout story must have a beginning, and Crampton’s first trip to the spotlight came at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Crampton picked up his first Top Fuel victory last year in Englishtown—a moment made even more special because he became the 100th different Top Fuel winner in NHRA history in the process. Those good vibes, coupled with a stellar start to 2015, have Crampton eager for this weekend’s 46th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals.
"Coming off of a win in Topeka and going back to the place where I won my first event and became No. 100 on that list is pretty awesome," Crampton said. "It’s hard to keep that momentum rolling when you win a race, so I’m excited to get there and see how we go."
TASCA READY FOR RETURN AT NHRA NEW ENGLAND NATIONALS: With his Rhode Island base, Bob Tasca III has always considered himself “an all-New England kid,” so there was no way he was going to miss competing in his backyard at the NHRA New England Nationals at New England Dragway in Epping. Tasca’s Mustang Funny Car will fly the colors of PPG as the primary sponsor for the race.
"For NHRA fans in New England, this is the race of the year, and I’m thrilled to be racing in the New England national event," said Tasca, who made his 2015 debut at the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals in March. "There are so many Tasca/Ford fans in New England that my family did not want to let them down. I have so many great memories racing in Epping; my goal is to make a few more."
ENGLISHTOWN TV SCHEDULE ADJUSTED: The television schedule for the Toyota NHRA Summernational at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park has been adjusted. To find out the new air times on ESPN2, visit www.NHRA.com.
He Said, She Said
"We have been running very fast in qualifying and even on race day. For whatever reason, either it was on the starting line or downtrack, we haven’t had the consistency needed to follow through with those quick runs. It’s starting to pick up a little bit though, so I have a good feeling about these next couple of races. Considering the fact that we’re already eight races into the season, now it definitely matters. We have got to pick up the pace and get a win."
—Alexis DeJoria on the start to the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season. DeJoria and her team, led by crew chief Tommy DeLago, have posted impressive moments this season but have yet to pick up a race win. DeJoria has raced strong in qualifying and has qualified fourth on three occasions and was seventh in Topeka, clocking a 3.994-second run.
Inside the Numbers
49: Number of wins Antron Brown has in his Mello Yello Drag Racing Series career, 33 in Top Fuel and 16 in Pro Stock Motorcycle. With the 49 career victories, the 2012 Top Fuel world champion is on the verge of becoming just the 10th driver to earn 50 wins. The 46th annual Toyota NHRA Summernationals at venerable Old Bridge Township Raceway Park takes place June 4–7, and Brown, a Chesterfield, New Jersey, native, couldn’t think of a better location to earn the milestone victory in his 10,000hp Matco Tools dragster.
"I can’t even believe I’ve won 49 races," said Brown. "There wouldn’t be a better place for me to get my 50th Wally than at Englishtown. That’s where it all started for me. I remember riding my dirt bike there and watching my dad and uncle race at Englishtown. There are so many great memories there. I’ve been so blessed to be with our Matco Tools/U.S. Army team. All my family will be out at Englishtown and sharing that moment with them would be more than I could ask for."
Did You Know
SPORTSNATIONALS WINNERS CROWNED: Justin Lamb and Bernie Polvadore won for the second week in a row at Auto Club Dragway at Auto Club Speedway, grabbing the wins at this weekend’s JEGS NHRA Pacific SPORTSnationals and the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series. Lamb, who won in both Comp Eliminator and Super Stock at last weekend’s Lucas Oil divisional, outran former national champion Alan Ellis to capture the Comp trophy again. Lamb, Henderson, Nevada, drove his ’10 Cobalt to an 8.075-second lap at 149.48 mph, and Ellis ran 8.300, 108.80 for the runner-up finish.
View the complete 2015 Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule.