Pre-Race Report Event 19: NHRA Nationals Maple Grove Raceway Reading, Pa. Sept. 13 – 16

Richie Crampton

 Kalitta Aims for Second Career Victory at Maple Grove Raceway

Reading Highlights: One win (2002); One no.1 qualifier (2004)

Last Event Recap (NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qualified 11th; Finalist (Defeated Leah Pritchett in the first round, Antron Brown in the quarterfinals and Billy Torrence in the semifinals, lost to Terry McMillen in the finals)

2017 NHRA Nationals Recap: Qualified second; Quarterfinalist (Defeated Audrey Worm in the first round, lost to Dom Lagana in the quarterfinals)

Quotable: “Every round is real important in the Countdown, so you have to hit the ground running.  It’s a big deal to go some rounds at the opener and then build on it and try to get a win wherever you can. You certainly can’t win them all, but you don’t want to put yourself in a bad position leaving Maple Grove. It’s all about every point you can get.”

Career Stats: 476 starts; 650 round wins (ninth all-time); 44 wins (Fifth all-time in Top Fuel); 96 finals; 49 no.1 qualifiers (tied 14th all-time)

2018 Season: One Win (Pomona-I); Five finals (Pomona I, Charlotte I, Richmond, Denver, Indianapolis); 27 round wins; fifth in the standings

Noteworthy: Kalitta would hit 50 career No. 1 qualifying positions if he takes the top spot in Reading.

Richie Crampton

Crampton aims for breakthrough at Reading

Last Event Recap (NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qualified 15th; First round loss (Lost to Clay Millican in the first round)

2017 NHRA Nationals Recap: Qualified 9th, First round loss (Lost to Antron Brown in the first round)

Quotable: “Even though this team did not reach our goal of qualifying for the Countdown to the Championship, I know we will go to these last six races and try to help Doug as much as we can and try to steal some wins.”

Career Stats: 97 starts; 86 round wins; Eight wins; 10 finals; Five no.1 qualifiers

2018 Season: One win (Gainesville); 11 round wins; 11th in the standings

Shawn Langdon

After semifinal finish in Indy, Langdon looking to ride momentum to first Funny Car win

Reading Highlights: One win (2013 – Top Fuel)

Last Event Recap (NHRA U.S. Nationals): Qualified seventh; Semifinalist (Defeated Cruz Pedregon in the first round, defeated Bob Bode in the quarterfinals, lost to Matt Hagan in the semifinals)

2017 NHRA Nationals Recap: Qualified tenth; First round loss (Lost to Dom Lagana in the first round)

Quotable: “We have had four races in a row now, that we lose by a minimal amount – including by ten one-thousandths of a second in Indy. Nothing to really hang our heads about. But now we have a little more information moving forward, and we feel good about where we are at entering the Countdown.”

Career Stats: 223 starts; 261 round wins; 14 wins; 30 finals; 18 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 18 starts; 14 round wins)

2018 Season: 18 starts; 14 round wins; Eighth in the standings

JR Todd

Following U.S. Nationals win, Todd sets sights on first Reading victory since rookie season in 2006

Reading Highlights: One Win (2006 – Top Fuel)

Last Event Recap (NHRA U.S. Nationals): No. 1 qualifier; Race Winner (Defeated Jim Campbell in the first round, Robert Hight in the quarterfinals, Tommy Johnson Jr. in the semifinals and Matt Hagan in the finals)

2017 NHRA Nationals Recap: Qualified seventh; First round loss (Lost to Tim Wilkerson in the first round)

Quotable: “Our confidence is really high for these next six races. Having the consistency come around is extremely important and we went down the track almost every time in Indy. We’re hoping to keep that momentum going heading into the Countdown.”

Career Stats: 190 starts; 191 round wins; 14 wins; 24 finals; 10 no.1 qualifiers (Funny Car stats: 42 starts; Five wins (2017: Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis); Five finals (2017: Charlotte-I, Sonoma, Indianapolis, 2018: Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis); 42 round wins)

2018 Season: Three wins (Las Vegas-I, Houston, Indianapolis); 24 round wins; Fifth in the point standings