'Antron Brown was super tough'
The dreams of winning back-to-back races went up in smoke for GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster driver Richie Crampton.
After winning the first race of his career two weeks ago in Englishtown, N.J., Crampton was hoping to keep the momentum rolling at the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway, but in a first-round matchup with No. 4 qualifier Antron Brown, Crampton smoked the tires before half-track and was bounced early.
"It would've been nice to keep going some rounds here in Bristol," Crampton said. "We historically don't do so well here for some reason. We were really hoping to turn that around and get some more round-wins and keep on going."
Brown ended up with the lowest elapsed time of the round, 3.829 seconds at 318.39 mph. Crampton's official numbers: 4.398 at 196.79 mph.
"Antron Brown was super tough," Crampton said. "He ran a 3.82 in the first round, and that was going to be hard to beat."
Crampton, who qualified No. 13, remains confident in his MLR team as they begin a four-week stretch of races.
"We'll keep our heads up high," Crampton said. "We did so well last weekend, so we know the race car is there. We just need to get some stuff in line and some more luck again and we'll be good."
Crampton was racing as a father on Father's Day for the first time, as he and girlfriend Stephanie Laski had a baby girl named Emma on May 20. Plus, Crampton's parents, Alan and June, were on hand Sunday.
"It's pretty awesome being a father on Father's Day for the first time, as well as being able to share it with my dad," Crampton said. "He's still here in the U.S. and is going home Wednesday. It was nice he was able to be here for Father's Day, and we would've really liked to have been in the winner's circle again with him on this special day, but it wasn't to be.
"Hopefully, he and my mom can come back later in the year and be in the winner's circle later in the season, with Emma and Stephanie, too."
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