Australian ace Richie Crampton has retained his seat on Kalitta Motorsports' Top Fuel team after being an on-the-fly replacement for Troy Coughlin Jr. since August.
Coughlin Jr. stood down from Kalitta’s Top Fuel team after deciding he needed more time in Top Alcohol dragsters, and Crampton was drafted in to drive Connie Kalitta-owned SealMaster dragster.
Crampton was a sensational NHRA rookie in 2014, winning two races including the US Nationals, and in 2015 he scored five wins and finished third in the Top Fuel championship, beaten only by Antron Brown and Tony Schumacher.
However, a winless 2016 resulted in ninth place, and his Morgan Lucas Racing ride disappeared at season’s end. But Crampton reverted to being a fabricator within MLR – as he had been before making his debut – and was available to race for Kalitta.
In his second race back, at Charlotte, Crampton reached the final round, taking down Scott Palmer, Steve Torrence and eventual champion Brittany Force.
Crampton will be one of two Kalitta Top Fuel entries in 2018, along with Doug Kalitta, while the squad’s Toyota Camry Funny Cars will be raced by JR Todd and Shawn Langdon.