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Crampton Goes Back-to-Back; Wins the 50th Gatornationals

Race Recap: 
Crampton faced a tough Antron Brown in his first round. Brown was first off the starting line, but had to pedal his dragster around 200 feet. Crampton went straight down the groove, and he got the first round win, running just off his qualifying time.

Next in round two, Crampton faced Leah Pritchett, who he's only beaten once in their five times racing. Stepping on the pedal with an unbelievable .022 reaction time, Crampton made the record 4-2, turning on the win light with a close hole-shot win. Margin of victory was 0.0126 seconds, equaling approximately 6 feet at the finish line.

Crampton's semi-final opponent TJ Zizzo came in to the round with lane choice. Zizzo left the starting line before Crampton, but the DHL dragster made up the difference within 200 feet and sailed on to get the win and move onto the finals.

Going for the win, Crampton had to defeat Clay Millican, who also had a winning record against him (4-1). Crampton again had a better reaction time than Millican giving him the event win in a very close final round race. The margin of victory against Millican was 0.0032 seconds (approximately 18 inches). Crampton wins his second consecutive Gatornationals Wally and the ninth in his career. 

Quotable: 
Crampton on winning the 50th Gatornationals: “With Kurt Elliott and Connie Kalitta turning the screws it’s been a good day of racing and I’m really proud of my guys. There weren’t any easy rounds today; it just goes to show you how tough Top Fuel is this year. Every round win is getting harder and harder to get. Since we won here last year, you hear those clichés like ‘You’re going to have those in your career’ but I knew I just continued to do my job and had faith in my team the wins would come back. I’m just focusing on being a dependable driver.”

Comments on winning 25 years after the famous father/son final between Scott and Connie Kalitta: It's definitely on my mind a lot . We had Colin Kalitta hanging out with us this weekend, Scott's son. Leading into this race, I watched the videos of that particular final round, where Connie raced Scott in the final here. That history of Kalitta and this race track is pretty impressive and it's nostalgic to watch Connie win here. And to have him put me in the winner's circle today, kind of has a full circle feel to it. 

Special Notes:
- Crampton has won nine out of 11 final rounds in his career
- This win makes Crampton the only active Top Fuel driver to earn back to back wins in Gainesville; seventh driver in history.
- Crampton's win earns Team Kalitta's sixth victory at the Gatornationals
- Team Owner and Crew Chief for the DHL Dragster, Connie Kalitta, won this race 25 years ago, beating son Scott in the final round.

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 12 (3.777 sec., 322.65 mph)

Race Details: 

Round 1            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Richie Crampton 12 0.092 3.783 318.77
Right Antron Brown 5 0.054 4.376 220.4 L
             
Round 2            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Richie Crampton 12 0.022 3.785 319.37
Right Leah Pritchett 4 0.08 3.739 328.78 L
             
Round 3            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left T.J. Zizzo 9 0.068 3.844 297.42 L
Right Richie Crampton 12 0.075 3.734 326.56
             
Round 4            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Richie Crampton 12 0.042 3.769 323.89
Right Clay Millican 7 0.058 3.756 324.67 L

1911 11223 8166

Kalitta Advances to Semi-Final Round; Leaves Gainesville in the Points Lead

Race Recap: 
Doug Kalitta has won this race three times, the most recent in 2014. First round Kalitta matched up with Terry McMillen, who was runner-up here in 2016. Kalitta was 14 - 2 against McMillen in prior events. Kalitta had the starting line advantage and that was enough to give him the first round win. The second round paired Kalitta with 2018 Top Fuel Champion Steve Torrence. Kalitta got off the line first and never trailed for the win, moving him to the semis where he faced Clay Millican. Even though a reaction time advantage started the race in Kalitta's favor, Kalitta's Mac Tools Dragster went up in smoke and Millican gets the win. 

Quotable: 
Kalitta on the Points Lead: "I can't give enough credit to my guys, they've worked so hard in the off season to get us ready to go. Starting off with a win this year gave us the confidence we needed to keep going. To take back the points lead is incredible. Wished we could've gotten it done today and met my teammate in the Final Round, but a parts breakage put a stop to our day. We're testing and we'll be ready for Vegas."

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 11 (3.760 sec., 321.35 mph) 

Race Details: 

Round 1            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Doug Kalitta 11 0.05 3.749 325.3
Right Terry McMillen 6 0.072 3.749 325.22 L
             
Round 2            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Doug Kalitta 11 0.063 3.703 327.51
Right Steve Torrence 3 0.077 3.708 329.91 L
             
Round 3            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Doug Kalitta 11 0.044 4.92 145.97 L
Right Clay Millican 7 0.067 3.909 313.73

1911 10914 8161

Close Race to the Finish Line; Unfortunate Outcome for Langdon

Race Recap: 
It seemed Pedregon may have had Langdon's number during this first round match up as the Global Electronic Toyota Camry was 3 - 1 against Pedregon in prior events. Langdon got the advantage off the line, stayed in front through the sixty foot mark, then Pedregon was able to power by and pulled away for the win.

Quotable:
Langdon on car's performance: "We came in on Friday with a strong car, ending the day in the fourth position. Saturday, the weather conditions changed dramatically, and we shifted our thinking pretty quickly to take that into Sunday. It was a good, close race. We're on the right path. We'll learn more during our test session tomorrow and just continue to improve." 

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 10 (3.959 sec., 325.06 mph) 

Race Details:
 

Round 1            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction Time ET MPH W/L
Left Shawn Langdon 10 0.044 3.966 323.27 L
Right Cruz Pedregon 7 0.058 3.924 325.22

1911 07968 8154

Todd Disappointing First Round Exit in Gainesville

Race Recap: 
Todd went into this first round 5 - 3 against Beckman in prior events. JR was first off the line, got about 200 feet out and had to pedal as the DHL Camry goes into tire smoke. Beckman drives around him at that point and goes right down the groove for the win.

Quotable:
Todd on the weekend: "Disappointing weekend for sure. This DHL Toyota Camry team is better than our showing here in Gainesville. The only thing we can do is just keeping moving forward, learning how to improve, and taking what we learn to the next race. We're staying here to test at Gainesville Raceway and I know Jon O and Todd will work out these gremlins that plagued us this weekend and we'll be ready for Vegas."

Statistics:
Qualified: No. 11 (4.012 sec., 323.74 mph) 

Race Details:
 

Round 1            
LANE DRIVER Qualifying Position Reaction
Time
ET MPH W/L
Left J.R. Todd 11 0.061 4.353 255.53 L
Right Jack Beckman 6 0.082 3.905 326.79 W

Kalitta Merchandise

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Funny Car Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
POSITION DRIVER POINTS
1 Robert Hight 717
2 JR Todd 556
3 Ron Capps 548
4 Tommy Johnson Jr. 527
5 John Force 524
6 Matt Hagan 506
7 Jack Beckman 477
8 Tim Wilkerson 463
9 Shawn Langdon 404
10 Bob Tasca 369
11 Cruz Pedregon 306
12 Terry Haddock 250
13 Jim Campbell 209
14 Jeff Diehl 191
15 Jonnie Lindberg 174
16 Blake Alexander 143
17 Dave Richards 94
18 Phil Burkart Jr. 88
19 Gary Densham 73
20 Paul Lee 52
21 Frank Pedregon 32
22 John Smith 31
23 Dale Creasy 10
24 Bob Bode 5
     

Top Fuel Points

Unofficial NHRA Mello Yello Countdown to the Championship Standings:
POSITION DRIVER POINTS
1 Steve Torrence 701
2 Brittany Force 541
3 Doug Kalitta 498
4 Clay Millican 489
5 Leah Pritchett 469
6 Antron Brown 467
7 Mike Salinas 466
8 Richie Crampton 363
9 Terry McMillen 352
10 Austin Prock 341
11 Scott Palmer 339
12 Billy Torrence 337
13 Jordan Vandergriff 240
14 Cameron Ferre 228
15 Dom Lagana 136
16 Shawn Reed 102
17 Terry Totten 77
18 TJ Zizzo 76
19 Pat Dakin 63
20 Lex Joon 46
21 Jim Maroney 44
22 Steve Faria 31
23 Karamesines 31
24 Steve Chrisman 31
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