Cruz Pedregon, Jeg Coughlin and Andrew Hines joined Crampton as last year’s winners on the Toyota NHRA Summernationals.
Englishtown, N.J. — Richie Crampton has enjoyed a tremendous start to his NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel career, which includes winning the prestigious Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals and the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award as the NHRA’s top rookie in 2014.
Two more wins have followed in the early stages of 2015 in Crampton’s 10,000-horsepower Lucas Oil dragster, but every breakout story must have a beginning and Crampton’s first trip to the spotlight came at tradition-rich Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.
Crampton picked up his first Top Fuel victory a year ago in Englishtown, a moment made even more special since 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.
Cruz Pedregon (Funny Car), Jeg Coughlin (Pro Stock) and Andrew Hines (Pro Stock Motorcycle) joined Crampton as last year’s winners of the event that will once again be televised nationally on ESPN2. It marks the ninth of 24 events during the 2015 NHRA Mello Yello Series season and Crampton has already proven to be a worthy championship contender.
In Funny Car, Cruz Pedregon, who has three wins at the event, dominated the weekend at Englishtown last season, qualifying No. 1 and storming to the event win over Del Worsham. Four of John Force’s record 142 career victories have come in New Jersey, but he hasn’t won the event since 1999. Two-time and defending world champ Matt Hagan has enjoyed past success at Englishtown, winning the event in 2013, and other class stars are points leader Ron Capps, ’07 E-town winner Tommy Johnson Jr., Alexis DeJoria, Courtney Force, Robert Hight, Jack Beckman, who won the most recent event, and Atlanta winner Tim Wilkerson.
Greg Anderson leads the Pro Stock category with five career wins at Raceway Park, while teammate Jason Line has three wins in New Jersey. Defending world champ Erica Enders, who took over the points lead with a win in Topeka, is looking to add the Toyota NHRA Summernationals to her career victory total, while 2011 winner Allen Johnson, 1994 winner and recent Charlotte winner Larry Morgan, Las Vegas runner-up Vincent Nobile, Houston runner-up Chris McGaha, Shane Gray and Jonathan Gray also figure to be major players in the ultra-competitive factory hot rod class.
Pro Stock Motorcycle
In Pro Stock Motorcycle, Andrew Hines took home his second Englishtown victory last season en route to his fourth career world championship. Hines is currently second in points to teammate and Bayonne, N.J. native Eddie Krawiec, a 2012 winner of this event. Former Englishtown bike winners Matt Smith, Angelle Sampey, Shawn Gann and Michael Ray will all be in pursuit of more success at the event. Meanwhile, Hector Arana Jr., Karen Stoffer, LE Tonglet and Scotty Pollacheck are among a group of riders who are ready to claim a breakthrough E-town victory.
The NHRA J&A Service Pro Mod Drag Racing Series will hit the track for its fourth race of the 2015 season. The Toyota NHRA Summernationals also will feature thrilling competition in the NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series, where the future stars of the sport earn their racing stripes.