Top fuel dragster owner/driver Morgan Lucas will climb out of the cockpit of the GEICO/Lucas Oil Top Fuel dragster in 2014 to devote more time to the family business, Lucas Oil Products. Lucas has promoted longtime Morgan Lucas Racing crewmember Richie Crampton, who recently earned his Top Fuel competition license during a test session at Lucas Oil Raceway at Indianapolis.
"I have been blessed to make a career out of driving a Top Fuel dragster thanks to amazing partners like GEICO and Lucas Oil," said Lucas on NHRA.com. "It's been an honor. But after some serious thought, I feel it's time for me to get out of the driver's seat for a while and get more involved in the family business. My mother and father have worked incredibly hard to build Lucas Oil, and this is the best decision for my family's future. I'll still own the team and be very involved with the day-to-day operations. I just won't be attending as many events. For sure, I'll miss all of the great fans who make our sport what it is today and the intense competition on the track.”
Crampton, of Adelaide, South Australia, has been with MLR since its inaugural season in 2007. Crampton raced go-karts in Australia before switching to drag racing at age 16. He was once a driving instructor for Bill Blomgren's Drag Racing School, and is licensed to compete in Super Comp, Top Alcohol Dragster, and Top Fuel.
"This is certainly a dream come true," said Crampton of his new ride. "In this day and age, it's not very often you have crew guys getting a chance to move up and drive the car. I'm honored that Morgan and (crew chief) Aaron (Brooks) think enough of me to give me this chance. I'm blown away that I'll have GEICO, Lucas Oil, and Toyota on my side. As I said, this is something I've been dreaming about since I was a boy, and now it's happening. I feel like a sponge soaking in all the things that are coming at me so fast. I'm sure we'll be on a bit of a learning curve, but I hope to catch up quickly and put us in a position to win rounds, win races, and be a part of next year's Countdown."
"The future looks bright,” said Lucas of his replacement. “Richie has shown a lot of talent in every role he's played for us, and I have the utmost confidence he will do an outstanding job driving the car in the coming seasons. The team chemistry is there, and so is the talent. We need to keep it all together so Aaron and the guys can continue to compete for championships."
Lucas will run a handful of events in 2014 in a second Lucas Oil/GEICO-branded dragster to honor the two main companies that have supported him in his career. MLR is currently producing its own chassis from its shop in Brownsburg, Indiana.
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