Seattle, Washington (August 2, 2016) - Having set the Pacific Raceways elapsed time record of 3.727 seconds a year ago, Top Fuel pilot Richie Crampton already had this weekend's race circled on his calendar, but when his main sponsor took over naming rights of the event and it became the 29th annual ProtectTheHarvest.com NHRA Northwest Nationals presented by Lucas Oil, it instantly made the race top priority.
"Forrest, Charlotte, and Morgan Lucas gave me this incredible opportunity to live my lifelong dream and drive a Top Fuel dragster a few years ago, and I can't think of a better way to tell them 'thank you' than by winning their title race," Crampton said. "We've been lucky enough to earn seven trophies since I started, but right now the only one we're focused on says ProtectTheHarvest.com and Lucas Oil on it."
A vitally important initiative started by Lucas Oil founders Forrest and Charlotte Lucas, Protect the Harvest seeks to inform American consumers, businesses, and decision-makers about the threats posed by animal rights groups and anti-farming extremists. To reach this goal, they work to protect citizen's freedoms by creating lasting legal safeguards for farmers, ranchers, hunters, anglers, and animal owners, mainly by responding to the activities of radical groups by opposing efforts to pass laws or enact regulations that would restrict our rights, limit our freedoms, and hinder our access to safe, affordable food. For more information, visit ProtectTheHarvest.com.
"Forrest is extremely passionate about Protect The Harvest, rightfully so, and to use an NHRA national event that's going to be live on the FOX network and our race cars to alert people to the cause is huge for this organization he cares so deeply for," said Crampton, a native of Adelaide, South Australia. "Australia is a huge agricultural country, much like the USA, so everything Protect The Harvest stands for rings true.
"Obviously, we want to raise as much attention as possible by performing well, so coming into this race fresh off a runner-up result in Sonoma (Calif.) on Sunday is a big boost for us. I think we've got the momentum we need to do what we need to do in Seattle. All of sudden this event has become a very big race on our calendar."
In addition to racing his own Lucas Oil/ProtectTheHarvest.com dragster, Crampton will be joined by team owner and stablemate Morgan Lucas at this event. Morgan Lucas has been racing part-time the last few years as he learns the family business, Lucas Oil Products. He'll be driving a special-edition ProtectTheHarvest.com dragster.
"It'll be a great time to have the boss back out," Crampton said. "Morgan and his team, we can bounce a lot of information off of them. Having a two-car effort helps us, and it's going to be good to see Morgan back at the track racing again. I think the MLR camp is going to have a productive weekend in Seattle."
Top Fuel qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 and 6 p.m., Friday, and 1:30 and 4:30 p.m., Saturday. Eliminations start at 11 a.m., Sunday. FOX Sports 1 will air qualifying action from 5 to 6 p.m., Friday, and 11 to 12 p.m., Saturday. FOX will carry eliminations live from 1 to 4 p.m., Sunday. (All times listed in PT).