“It’s a huge win for us,” said a victorious Crampton. “I’m so lucky to be a part of this team. I hated to race my teammate, Doug Kalitta, in the final and win, but it was a great day for the whole team. We had three real strong runs to close out qualifying (including a 3.689), so we knew we had a car that could contend. Then we had another strong run in round one and made another solid pass in the second round. In the finals, we had a pretty good light and made a really good pass to beat a great driver and team. For DHL, Toyota, Wix, Global and everyone who’s stayed behind us, this is big. It’s the business time of the year. It’s just so important to get round wins and try to run for a championship. We’ve shown we have a car capable of competing for a championship. Now we just need to keep digging in these last five races.”
Kalitta was the epitome of consistency throughout the day. He led wire-to-wire in defeating his first two round opponents - Smax Smith with a 3.722 and Mike Salinas as he ran a 3.740. In the semifinals, Austin Prock had a slight advantage at the tree, but Kalitta quickly ran him down, registering another 3.740-second pass on the way to the win. Today’s run to the finals marks his second consecutive final round appearance after winning the U.S. Nationals and it’s the third straight race that Kalitta has gone to the semifinals or beyond.Rounding out the Toyota Top Fuel contingent was Brown, who opened up the day with a wire-to-wire victory over Terry McMillen to set up the second-round match-up with Crampton. As the two Toyotas squared off, Brown would get the starting line advantage, but was up in smoke right at the hit and clicked it off as Crampton went straight down the track for the victory.