Richie Crampton

RICHIE CRAMPTON

RICHIE CRAMPTON

Vital Statistics
Residence: Indianapolis, Indiana
Hometown: Adelaide, South Australia
Date of birth: July 9, 1980

Personal
Married: Wife, Stephanie
Child: Emma Grace
Height/weight: 5'9", 160 lbs.
Hobbies: Wakeboarding, golf, restoring old cars

Top Fuel Dragster
​​2016 car: Lucas Oil dragster
2015 wins/runner-up finishes: 5/0
Career wins/runner-up finishes: 7/0
2015 points finish: 3rd
Best points finish: 3rd (2015)
Playoff appearances: 2
First start: Pomona 1 2014
Career-best elapsed time: 3.705 seconds (Dallas 2015)
Career-best speed: 328.98 mph (Dallas 2015)​

 

2016 Season Highlights

  • Raced to a runner-up finish in Sonoma
  • Had two No. 1 qualifying positions during the season
  • Qualified for the Countdown to the Championship for the third season

Career Highlights

  • 2015: Raced to five victories
  • 2015: Was not defeated in a final round appearance during the year
  • 2015: Posted two No. 1 qualifying positions
  • 2015: Set career bests for time and speed in Dallas
  • 2014: Raced to two victories; Won the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals; Claimed the Automobile Club of Southern California Road to the Future award; Claimed one No.1 qualifying position

Notable: Began drag racing in his native Australia in Supercharged Outlaw class; Licensed in Super Comp and Top Alcohol Dragster; Morgan Lucas Racing 2007-2016

BIOGRAPHY

Richie Crampton continues to live his dream, but his dreams are getting bigger.

Crampton came to the United States in 2004 to pursue his dream of driving a Top Fuel dragster in NHRA. That dream came true when he was named driver for Morgan Lucas Racing in 2014, but Crampton has done more than drive: He has won — again and again.

Crampton won two races in his initial season, including the prestigious U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, and claimed
the Road to the Future Award as NHRA's top rookie, but 2015 was even better, as he won five times and ended up
finishing third in the Top Fuel points standings.

"I truly believe we took a big step in 2015," Crampton said. "I've been given the resources and the tools to make lots
of really good runs and gain a lot of great experience. Not a lot of first- or second-year drivers get that opportunity
to learn in the seat of the type of equipment that I get to be in.

"The fact that I get to drive for such a fantastic team has brought me more round-wins and more event wins and
put my name on the map and has put me in the spotlight with many of the drivers who were my heroes in the sport."

Crampton grew up in Adelaide, Australia, dreaming of competing in the pinnacle of drag racing, NHRA. His father,
Alan, ran a carburetor-repair shop, so the young Crampton was always around cars and engines, learning to hone his mechanical skills.

Crampton's eyes really lit up when local hot rodders brought their cars in, fueling a passion that still burns today. Alan got him a go-kart, insisting that Crampton do all the work on it. By the time he was 14, he was finished with go-karts and built a seven-second drag race car that he used at a local dragstrip.

That facility closed in 2002, putting Crampton on a path that would lead him to the United States. He moved to Sydney, Australia, to work on a Top Fuel team that later competed at NHRA events in the U.S. That team eventually returned to Australia, but Crampton didn't.

He joined MLR in 2007 and served as clutch specialist and car chief until 2014, when Morgan Lucas decided to stop racing full time, and the team looked to Crampton to fill the seat. Crampton had filled in during at test in Indianapolis in 2013 and was a logical choice for the full-time ride.

The team's faith was rewarded when Crampton won in Englishtown, N.J., to complete a special few weeks for him. Daughter Emma was born to Crampton and partner Stephanie Laski a few days earlier, and Alan and June Crampton happened to be in the U.S. on vacation.

C

rampton took another big step in winning the U.S. Nationals that year, and he finished ninth in the Top Fuel standings.

That was simply a prelude to an even bigger 2015 season, which he started with a bang by winning five rounds in the first four races before storming to victory in Las Vegas. Victories in Topeka, Bristol, and Brainerd followed, and Crampton began to the Countdown to the Championship in third place in the points.

The playoffs didn't go exactly as the team had hoped, but a victory in Dallas and a semifinal appearance at the season-finale in Pomona wrapped up a top-three finish.

"Outpedaling Steve Torrence, as a driver, that was a very rewarding win for me," Crampton said of his Dallas victory. "Winning Indy in 2014 and then following that up with a No. 3 finish in my second year, I definitely think my career is on the upward swing. Thanks to my team and the organization I get to drive for."

Crew chief Aaron Brooks and assistant crew chief Rod Centorbi lead a deep, talented team that has remained close for many years, dating back to when Crampton was a crewmember. It's a dream situation for a driver, but then again, Crampton is used to fulfilling his dreams.

"I'd always been a huge fan of drag racing and was constantly following NHRA," Crampton said. "Drag racing at a young age in Australia, I never thought I'd get close to being a part of NHRA, let alone making my way from Adelaide to Indianapolis and driving one of the best Top Fuel cars in the world.

"It has kind of all been a blur, even though it has been 12 years in the making to get to the point where I'm at. It's just flown by. But I kept working and have been fortunate to be around great people and great opportunities, and here I am."