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Richie Crampton hopes to add Phoenix victory to growing résumé

Richie Crampton hopes to add Phoenix victory to growing résumé

Phoenix, Arizona (February 22, 2016) - One might think Richie Crampton and his Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster team would be satisfied with their start to the 2016 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season.

Crampton qualified No. 4 and raced to the semifinals, leaving Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, Calif., third in the Top Fuel points standings.

But Crampton, who finished third in the points in 2015, wants more: Another victory.

"I'm really looking forward to going to Phoenix and trying to win there," Crampton said. "That's obviously the objective, rolling out of Pomona after a semifinal finish. That's pretty neat.

"We'll get back at it in Phoenix after having a weekend off. Hopefully, we'll be looking good."

Crampton and his Morgan Lucas Racing team have proven they belong in the Top Fuel echelon in his two years behind the wheel. Already he has racked up seven victories, including winning the prestigious U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis in 2014.

Crampton, a native of Adelaide, Australia, who is a naturalized U.S. citizen living in Brownsburg, Ind., lost in the first round in Phoenix in 2014, his second career race. He rebounded to advance to the second round last year and hopes to keep improving on that record.

"Hopefully the weather will be similar to Pomona when we get back there," Crampton said. "It was unseasonably cool when we tested there a couple of weeks ago. Everything being equal and us having our data from last week, we should be looking good.

"Phoenix is a tricky track for crew chiefs, but I think (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) and the Lucas boys will get it figured out."

Temperatures are expected to be in the upper 80s this weekend, similar to the weather at the season opener in Pomona.

"I love Phoenix," Crampton said. "I've got some family there, and it's a fun city. We're excited about seeing the impact FOX Sports makes on our sport as we move forward. It should be a good show for the fans in Phoenix."

FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying from 7-9 p.m. PT, Saturday, with live coverage of eliminations from 2-5 p.m. PT, Sunday. More than 1.1 million viewers tuned in to the first broadcast of the season.