Countdown To The Championship Heats Up In Texas As Crampton And Worsham Claim Victories

Countdown To The Championship Heats Up In Texas As Crampton And Worsham Claim Victories

by October 20, 2015 0 comments

Photo Credit: NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series

ENNIS, Tex. – Richie Crampton claimed victory in Top Fuel and Del Worsham continued his dominance in Funny Car on Sunday during the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals at Texas Motorplex.

In Top Fuel, Richie Crampton earned his fifth victory of the season on Sunday after he defeated NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship point leader, Antron Brown in the semifinals and Steve Trorrence in the finals. With the win, Crampton jumps from fifth to third in the championship point standings. He’s now 203 points behind Antron Brown, who has won every race in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship up until Sunday. Also with the win, Crampton becomes 7-0 in final appearances.

“It’s hard to even fathom getting to seven final rounds in the short time I’ve been a professional driver let alone winning them all,” Crampton said. “I’m just so fortunate that when you give my team so many shots at a race track on a given day that they get it figured out. I’ve reached a point where I’ve got a huge amount of confidence going into final rounds now.”

Steve Torrence finished second, after his run of 4.074 seconds at 267.32 mph was defeated by Crampton’s 3.972 second run at 283.07 mph. Clay Millican finished third, while Antron Brown and Brittany Force rounded out the top-five.

“We went out there to run hard,” Antron Brown said. “You don’t want to go out there to run slow against these guys like (Richie) Crampton with (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and that team. All these teams out here. We walked out of Dallas with two more rounds in the bank. We have two races left and our focus is still the same, go out there to Vegas and attack them hard.”

Despite his fourth place finish, Brown continues to sit atop the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship point standings. He leads Steve Torrence by 132 points with only two races remaining this season.

On Sunday afternoon, Del Worsham powered his way to his third Funny Car victory in this year’s NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship. Worsham has now won all of the “playoff” events this season, except for the NHRA Keystone Nationals. In the final round on Sunday, Worsham’s 4.041 second run at 272.17 mph, defeated Jack Beckman’s 4.077 second run at 286.25 mph. Worsham now leads Beckman in the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship point standings by a mere 38 points.

“I think we may have stolen this one today,” Worsham said. “It was definitely a challenge because we didn’t have the fastest car all day, so in between rounds the whole DHL Toyota team had to go back to work. The final was crazy. We got a good start and we were cruising along and all of a sudden the car just made a hard right hand turn. I let off and we hit the finish line and I didn’t know if we won or not until I heard it on the radio. Now we’ve got a week off and we aren’t looking at the championship, we’re just going to prepare for Las Vegas and that’s the only thing that matters.”

With just two events remaining this year, the championship battle is heating up between Worsham and Beckman. At this point, Beckman’s Don Schumacher Racing team is doing every possible to get victories. The team took down Tony Pedregon in the first round, John Force in the second round and Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semifinals. That’s quite an impressive performance, despite losing to the one driver Beckman needed to beat.

“Normally a runner-up is not necessarily a bad weekend,” Beckman said. “It’s a little frustrating to get to the final and not win. The problem is the car that was in the other lane was Del. Had we lost in the final to anybody but Del we would’ve left here with the points lead. That’s OK. We’re still within two rounds of them with two full races left to go and it’s going to be a gunfight to the end and I think we’ve got the car that can come out on top.”

Finishing just behind Worsham and Beckman was Ron Capps in third. Tommy Johnson Jr. finished fourth, followed by John Force Racing’s Robert Hight.

The NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series will visit The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, October 29-November 1. The NHRA Toyota Nationals will be the fifth race of the NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship.

AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Top Fuel Results:

1.) Richie Crampton

2.) Steve Torrence

3.) Clay Millican

4.) Antron Brown

5.) Brittany Force

6.) Shawn Langdon

7.) Billy Torrence

8.) Dave Connolly

9.) Larry Dixon

10.) Doug Kalitta

11.) J.R. Todd

12.) Jenna Haddock

13.) Tony Schumacher

14.) Kebin Kinsley

15.) Terry McMillen

16.) Troy Buff


AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals Funny Car Results:

1.) Del Worsham

2.) Jack Beckman

3.) Ron Capps

4.) Tommy Johnson Jr.

5.) Robert Hight

6.) Matt Hagan

7.) Alexis DeJoria

8.) John Force

9.) Cruz Pedregon

10.) Corey Lee

11.) Tim Wilkerson

12.) Courtney Force

13.) John Hale

14.) Blake Alexander

15.) Tony Pedregon

16.) Chad Head


NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Point Standings:

1.) Antron Brown | 2,505

2.) Tony Schumacher | 2,373

3.) Richie Crampton | 2,302

4.) Brittany Force | 2,298

5.) Larry Dixon | 2,268

6.) Steve Torrence | 2,254

7.) Shawn Langdon | 2,236

8.) Dave Connolly | 2,219

9.) J.R. Todd | 2,213

10.) Doug Kalitta | 2,205


NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Funny Car Point Standings:

1.) Del Worsham | 2,488

2.) Jack Beckman | 2,450

3.) Tommy Johnson Jr. | 2,341

4.) Ron Capps | 2,330

5.) Matt Hagan | 2,329

6.) John Force | 2,264

7.) Alexis DeJoria | 2,206

8.) Cruz Pedregon | 2,201

9.) Robert Hight | 2,196

10.) Tim Wilkerson | 2,195

Hunter Thomas
Hunter Thomas is a journalist who grew up in Darlington, S.C. His first motorsports-based endeavor was working as the Public Relations Director at Dillon Motor Speedway in Dillon, S.C., and his journalism start came while he was freelancing at his hometown newspaper, the News & Press while in college.

Hunter has been working within the NASCAR industry since 2010, and throughout the years, he has done everything from PR/Marketing for drivers and teams in the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series, NASCAR XFINITY Series and NASCAR Camping World Truck Series, to working at Rockingham Speedway. As a journalist, Hunter has covered everything from regional short tracks to NASCAR, ARCA Racing Series, World of Outlaws, Red Bull Global Rallycross, NHRA and much more.

Follow Hunter Thomas on Twitter by following, @HunterThomas08

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