NHRA: Australian Richie Crampton feels right at home racing in Texas

(Photo courtesy NHRA)

Richie Crampton may have to check himself this weekend. Instead of saying “G’day, Mate,” he’ll have to fall back upon his second language and say, “Howdy, pardner!”

The Adelaide, South Australia native will be deep in the heart of Texas for the 29th NHRA SpringNationals at Royal Purple Raceway in the Houston suburb of Baytown, Texas.

Ranked ninth in the NHRA Top Fuel point standings, Crampton enters this weekend’s racing action looking to capitalize on past success both he and teammate Morgan Lucas have both had in the Lone Star State.

“I won in Texas last year (at the Fall Nationals in Dallas) and Morgan won in Houston in 2012, so we have good data in the books to work from,” Crampton said in a media release. “Usually, the Houston race swings very heavily on the weather.

“The track is just a few feet above sea level, so it has the potential to be very fast with all that oxygen available. At the same time, it can be humid and wet, which presents other issues. We have to be ready for whatever we get.”

Top Fuel driver Richie Crampton.

In many ways, racing in Texas reminds Crampton of his homeland. The Australian Outback looks very similar to the wide open spaces in Texas, the people in both places are friendly and they both love racing.

“It definitely feels a lot like home whenever we go to Texas,” Crampton said. “The weather, the terrain, the people, the food … just the entire attitude is so much like Australia. The first time I ever went there it was one of the first things that struck me.

“When George W. Bush was president, he came to Australia for a visit with Prime Minister John Howard and he said over and over on TV how much Texas and Australia were the same. I know exactly what he meant.

“The fans at this race have always been very kind and welcoming to us, and that’s the Texas friendliness we’ve come to expect. I can’t wait for this year’s race to start.”

Admittedly, it’s been a bit rough this season on Crampton, a seven-time national event winner, and especially his teammate and team owner, Lucas. While Crampton is in the top-10, he’s nearly 200 points behind series leader Brittany Force.

And Lucas, who won last year at the prestigious U.S. Nationals, sits 15th in the rankings, 344 points behind Force.

Still, Crampton is optimistic about this weekend, especially after last weekend’s NHRA 4-Wide Nationals.

“We really got onto something promising this past weekend in Charlotte, and the car responded well to everything Aaron (Brooks, crew chief) was trying to do,” Crampton said. “You don’t make big changes with nitro cars.

“You have to massage what you have, be patient, and take the incremental gains you make. We feel like we’ve taken a bunch of steps forward in the last few races.”

Follow @JerryBonkowski

Peacock to stream all Supercross and Motocross races in 2023, plus inaugural SuperMotocross Championship

Peacock Supercross Motocross 2023
Feld Entertainment, Inc.

NBC Sports and Feld Motor Sports announced that Peacock and the NBC family of networks will stream all 31 races of the combined Monster Energy Supercross, Lucas Oil Pro Motocross and the newly created SuperMotocross World Championship beginning January 7, 2023 at Angel Stadium in Anaheim, California and ending October 14 in the place where Supercross was born: the Los Angeles Coliseum.

The combined series will create a 10-month calendar of events, making it one of the longest professional sports’ seasons in the United States.

The agreement is for multiple years. The season finale will air live on Peacock and the USA Network.

Peacock will present live coverage of all races, qualifying and heats across both series. The 31 total races will mark a record for the combined number of Supercross and Pro Motocross events that NBC Sports will present in a single season.

NBC, USA Network and CNBC will provide coverage of all races, including the SuperMotocross World Championship Playoffs and Final, through 2023 and beyond. For more information about the Peacock streaming service, click here.

“With our wide array of live and original motorsports offerings, Peacock is a natural home for Supercross and Pro Motocross races,” said Rick Cordella, Chief Commercial Officer, Peacock. “We’re looking forward to providing fans with an easily-accessible destination to find every race all season long, including the exciting finish with the newly formed SuperMotocross World Championship.”

MORE: A conversation about media rights created the new SuperMotocross World Championship Series

The NBC family of networks has been home to Supercross for the past several seasons and this is a continuation of that relationship. The media rights for both series expired at the end of 2022, which allowed Supercross and Motocross to combine their efforts.

In fact, it was that conversation that led to the formation of the SuperMotocross World Championship (SMX).

The SMX series will begin on September 9, 2023 after the conclusion of the Pro Motocross season. Points will accumulate from both series to seed the SMX championship, which creates a record number of unified races.

“The SuperMotocross World Championship adds a new dimension to the annual Supercross and Pro Motocross seasons that will result in crowning the ultimate World Champion,” said Stephen C. Yaros, SVP Global Media and Supercross for Feld Motor Sports. “We are thrilled to be extending our relationship with NBC Sports so our fans can watch all the racing action streaming live on Peacock and the option to also watch select rounds on NBC, USA Network and CNBC.”

Complete 2023 coverage schedules for Supercross, Pro Motocross and the SuperMotocross World Championship on Peacock, NBC, USA Network and CNBC will be announced in the near future.