NHRA: Bet on Richie Crampton if he reaches the final round at Vegas

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When you’re going to Las Vegas riding a 7-out-of-7 streak, let’s just say it’s likely the odds favor you extending said streak.

Such is the case with Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton. Following his win this past Sunday at Texas Motorplex, last year’s Rookie of the Year has high hopes for next week’s fifth race in the six-race Countdown to the Championship playoff.

His win at Texas makes the Australian native a perfect 7-0 in final elimination rounds. Ergo, he now has seven career records in the Top Fuel class, including five this season.

The victory also moved him into third place in the Top Fuel rankings, but he’s still 203 points behind series leader Antron Brown, who won the previous three Countdown races before Crampton’s heroics this past Sunday.

richie crampton head shot 2015
Richie Crampton (Photo courtesy NHRA)

“We’re trying very hard to have the best finish possible in the points,” Crampton said in an NHRA media release. “We need to be better than everyone else we face. It would help our cause tremendously to bag a few more wins before the year is out.

“It’s already been a dream season but we want more. There are (two) more race days on the schedule, so we have (two) more chances to show our stuff. We’re hungry for more, no question.”

Next up for Crampton is the NHRA Toyota Nationals next weekend in Sin City, where Crampton is already eyeing an eighth final round triumph, as well as a sixth win in 2015.

“Whenever you give (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and my Lucas Oil guys three shots at a racetrack on Sunday, you’re probably going to have a pretty good car for the final round,” Crampton said. “I just fed off that confidence that we haven’t been beat in a final round yet and it’s still surreal to me to have that stat. I can’t say enough about my guys and that really helps my confidence.”

Crampton has earned victories this season in Las Vegas, Topeka, Bristol, Brainerd and most recently Ennis, Texas. He’d love to add another win or two at Las Vegas and/or the season-ending event at Pomona, Calif. next month.

“We’ve got the hot rod to get the job done, and I’d match up our crew against any other one out there,” Crampton said. “It’s just so tough to win these things. To have (five) trophies this season and (seven) overall in less than two years of driving is crazy.

“I know a lot of people go years, sometimes their entire careers, without winning a single race. It speaks to the talent of (crew chief) Aaron Brooks and this group of guys.”

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IndyCar at IMS Friday: How to watch, start times, live streaming info

IndyCar Indianapolis start times
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With three races remaining in the NTT IndyCar Series season, Scott Dixon has a commanding lead and history on his side entering Friday’s opener of the Harvest GP at Indianapolis Motor Speedway.

The five-time series champion leads defending champ Josef Newgarden by 72 points.

Since 2014, the points leader with three races left has won the championship in five of the past six years, including Dixon in ’18.

The Chip Ganassi Racing driver has led the championship standings following every round after opening 2020 with three consecutive victories. Dixon also led the points by 78 points with three races remaining when he won the title in 2008.

Dixon, Newgarden, Pato O’Ward, Colton Herta, Will Power, Graham Rahal and Takuma Sato are championship eligible.

Anyone outside 108 points of the lead after Indy will be eliminated heading into the Oct. 25 season finale at St. Petersburg, Florida.

Here is the IndyCar Harvest GP at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway road course schedule for Friday (all times are ET), including details and start times:

Indianapolis Motor Speedway TV schedule for Friday

IndyCar Harvest GP Race 1: 3:30 p.m., USA Network, NBC Sports Gold and streaming on the NBC Sports App and NBCSports.com); Leigh Diffey is the lead announcer for IndyCar on NBCSN this weekend with analysts Townsend Bell and Paul Tracy.

IndyCar Harvest GP, Race 1 at Indianapolis Motor Speedway start times, information


GREEN FLAG: 4 p.m.

DISTANCE: The race is 85 laps (207.35 miles) around Indianapolis Motor Speedway’s a 2.439-mile, 14-turn road course in Indianapolis.

TIRE ALLOTMENT: Nine sets primary, five sets alternate (A 10th set of primary tires is available to any car fielding a rookie.) Teams must use one set of primary and one set of alternate tires in the race.

PUSH TO PASS: 200 seconds of total time with a maximum time of 20 seconds per activation.

FORECAST: According to Wunderground.com, it’s expected to be 57 degrees with a 0% chance of rain at the green flag.

QUALIFYING: 6:20 p.m. Thursday (NBC Sports Gold)

ENTRY LIST: Click here for the 25 drivers racing this weekend at Indianapolis