What makes Piedmont, Alabama's David Rampy the outstanding winner that he is, would be the combination of years of hard work, the folks he surrounds himself with and something that is sometimes unique from driver's who have tasted success, being humble. He's as down home as he is a down right good racer.
David Rampy wins NHRA Competition Eliminator at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois
David Rampy's The Racers Edge/K&N 1932 Bantam
K&N's David Rampy is currently in the middle of a spectacular run in NHRA Competition Eliminator, after winning the class during the last three events where the class was contested, Englishtown, Norwalk and most recently at a track where, believe it or not he had never won an event in prior attempts, Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Illinois.
Qualifying for the 14th annual O'Reilly Auto Parts Route 66 NHRA Nationals went almost as planned for the multi-time championship driver, landing in the number five spot after all was said and done, although he prefers to be in the "number eight hole" and get into a spot which would allow him to run lower and slower qualified entries.
"It's not always easy to get right in the spot you want to be, but we ended up in the vicinity," said Rampy of qualifying. "That put me first round with Shaun Vincent, who I had just run there a few weeks ago at the divisional event. We were a little concerned looking at his qualifying times, because we knew he was capable of running faster. So I was definitely a little concerned about him."
David Rampy has won three Competition Eliminator NHRA National victories in a row
Rampy had a whopping five hundredths starting line advantage over Vincent and easily carried it to the stripe for not only the win, but also remaining clean [no index penalty] for his round two match up.
"In reality we should have run Matt Harris, if you look at how things shape out on paper," said Rampy of his round two pairing with Jay Billingsley. "Matt was the higher qualified car but I guess he went red. So that round was a little easier than what it could have been."
Rampy had one of the best reaction times of the round and used it to once again, win the round all while staying just within the amount allowed to not get an index hit. "He made a pretty decent run, but we were able to sneak by him and that put us up against Mike DePalma for round three," he noted. "Now Mike hadn't nicked any of his index either, so he was clean and I was clean. I knew it should be a very good race. But we ran Sunday morning, which we never get in three rounds before the pros [eliminations start]. For some reason, it could have had to do with the All-Stars race that was going on, they ran us Sunday morning. It wasn't as hot as it had been, but the humidity was real-real bad."
"I think everybody was running a little slower than the gauges said you should have run," he continued about third round. "It was just the deal where he gave me a little room on the tree and I squeaked by him but he had also slowed down a bunch from where he qualified. He said that the humidity just killed his car."
Rampy had been able to stay clean until the third round with DePalma and even though he was now carrying a .01 CIC his semi-final competitor, Chuck Haubiel was certainly in a whole lot deeper with a huge .06 CIC.
Both drivers gave it everything they had on the line for a pair of somewhat uncharacteristic .00 lights in the class and it was Rampy coming out in the end with the win light and on to the final in his The Racers Edge/K&N 1932 Bantam.
"I realize that sometimes you are going to redlight and the old saying that if you're not trying you're never going to redlight, but in Comp I just try to be teen's and twenty's and not be so close to the edge," he confessed of his .009 semi-final reaction time. "You know, if you live on the edge you're gonna fall off every now and then. It was good that I was double-oh on the tree, even with his six that he had to carry, I needed to be right there with him."
Combined with his excellent reaction time, Rampy ran a fantastic round for the win which also included taking the stripe while staying .003 away from hurting his index. That would send him to a very important final with Arnie Martel.
Martel's very first win came against Rampy back in 1998 and although the two have met many times since then, this would only be their second final round match up.
This time the tables were turned and it was all Rampy all the way. "Looking at the round on paper, I just didn't feel like Arnie could go much faster," he said of the Comp final that was held during not so conducive racing conditions. "Maybe fifty under was all he could go and even though the heat affected us too, I knew I could go about fifty-five under. I felt like as long as I matched him on the tree and that nothing happened that we could have a good chance."
Rampy did what he had been doing all weekend, he took an advantage at the tree and drove around Martel for his 79th NHRA National event win and his third NHRA Competition Eliminator Wally in a row in as many events.
The K&N racer will have a couple of weekends at home before heading to National Trail Raceway and his next NHRA Division 3 event, where he will compete in both his Comp and Super Stock cars.
"It feels good to be able to have success for the folks like K&N who are a part of what I do and on my team," said Rampy. "K&N has a great line of products and I use them on both of the cars. Having the best parts available on the cars is the first part of what you need to do, if you want to have a chance to win whether it's an NHRA National or at your local track."
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