Keeping his competitors on their toes seems to come quite easy for Greg Kamplain, whether it is in Comp Eliminator or Super Comp. The 2003 NHRA Division 3 Super Comp champ, who in 2004 made the addition of competing in Comp, not only made mention earlier this season that he had found more power in his Comp dragster, but made good on that when he added a second elapsed time NHRA National Record to his list.
NHRA Division 3 Super Comp Champion Greg Kamplain
Already holding the C/ED E.T. record of 7.23, set by Kamplain during the NHRA Division event in Gainesville, Florida in February 2009, he blazed to a 6.95 E.T. in his 2001 Spitzer Dragster, during the Norwalk Division event this May, setting a new National Record in the C/DA Competition Eliminator class.
While setting records in the Comp class is no easy feat, neither is going rounds in either of the classes Kamplain competes in. Although he has enjoyed some success in his Comp Dragster during eliminations in 2010 season, it's in his Super Comp car where he has remained quite a force to be reckoned with.
Like many other events, Kamplain entered both his Comp and Super Comp Dragster in the most recent NHRA Division 3 event at National Trail Raceway, just outside of Columbus, Ohio. This particular weekend was plagued with extremely high temperatures and heat indexes during the event well into the low 100's.
Kamplain's approach to the weekend, thanks to the weather conditions, was a little different than others for him in the way he prepared his cars for competition. With water grains, at times, well into the 130-range, the conditions during the Columbus race had many a racer making nearly wholesale changes to their tuning styles, no matter what class of competition.
"We normally concentrate more on the Comp car," he explained. "We started out making a bunch of changes to it, picked a terrible weekend to have to be working on it a lot, but we did. The Super Comp car is normally secondary, because with it we just run and fuel it and put the battery charger on it. That weekend I actually changed jets in the Super Comp car to lean it out and that's just not something I normally do."
"With everything we put our engines though and expect of them over a long weekend with lots of harsh weather like we had in Columbus, it's so good to know we are doing everything we can to protect them with K&N filters," he continued. "I use both a K&N air and oil filter and have for many years. It's just one less thing I have to worry about."
Kamplain started off eliminations going rounds in not one car, but in both.
"We weren't having a whole lot of luck with the Comp car, although we did go three rounds with it," he admitted. "I was advancing in Super Comp and once I start going a round or two, well I start thinking more about that car."
"Winning two rounds in both cars was making us hustle quite a bit in that heat," he added.
In hopes of making a final, even the most outstanding driver can use a lucky or two round during the course of eliminations and Kamplain feels he had some during the Columbus event.
"Basically I had breaks where I needed them and drove good when I needed to," he reflected.
A weather front, that had moved through central Ohio earlier in the day, finally began to take some of the tremendous heat and humidity with it, causing the track to get better and the cars to keep picking up as the late evening hours approached.
"The air was changing and really getting good every round. I was adding numbers to the box and saying that I know I needed to add more, but I just didn't want to", he said of trying to keep his car dialed to run the class index of 8.90. "Then I would go out there and I was fast, too. I guess I just did a better job of knocking off what I needed to."
"Every round, my wife Judy would tell me I had been on an eight-five pass, so we would try to slow it down to an eighty-eight or eighty-nine and scrub some off and I would have still been on an eighty-three or four," he added.
In addition to dealing with the drastically changing conditions, Kamplain points out a very interesting semi-final round with multi-time champ, Edmond Richardson.
"The tree screwed up on him, I guess. All I know is it looked like he either deep staged and tried to get back and I went in or he timed out," said Kamplain. "The tree came on and I took off."
Initially, Kamplain was declared the winner of the match up, but not for long.
"The officials realized they had a problem with the tree after a similar situation happened with another pair and I had to rerun him," he continued.
A problem with the tree came to no surprise to most as this wasn't the first time the tree caused officials and racers havoc during the weekend. It was during the third session of qualifying for Super Stock Saturday morning when a problem first reared its head, leaving remaining Super Stock racers and Super Comp drivers who had been called to wait patiently in the heat for nearly three-and-a-half hours.
"I would have taken it," he said of the first semi-final round win. "But the way it worked out I was happier because I have run him [Richardson] three times I think all together. The outcome was always the same with the margin just being a few thousandths and I knew what I needed to do, I just wasn't doing well enough."
During the rerun with Richardson, Kamplain relied on his thirty-eight years of racing and finally put the "W" up fair and square on his side of the track.
"I swore that even if I lost, I wasn't going to make the mistake again that I had been making. And I didn't. And I beat him," he smiled.
Kamplain and his K&N equipped dragster went on to face Vince Nannini in the final, where he was able to watch his win light come on as Nannini took a chunk of the stripe allowing Kamplain to come out on the good side of a double breakout and his first NHRA Division win of the season.
He will have a few weekends off to enjoy his victory before the next stop on his schedule will find him at Bowling Green, Kentucky for an NHRA Division race and an all important warm-up for the NHRA U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.
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