The amazing drag racing career for Piedmont, Alabama's David Rampy continues to play out at NHRA facilities across the U.S., where the dynamic professional sportsman racer broadens his win count on the NHRA National level to an illustrious eighty-one with his most recent victory in Competition Eliminator. The win came for Rampy in his trusty A/EA 1932 Bantam during the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio.
David Rampey drives a red '32 Bantam roadster in the NHRA Competition Eliminator class
With heat warnings in effect for the area during most of the event and temperatures soaring into the low 100's, combined with extremely high humidity, it wasn't the most comfortable event for participants to endure. "Well, ya know we are from the south, so we are supposed to be used to it," Rampy commented on the extreme heat that plagued the race. "But, I'll have to admit it was pretty ugly, that's for sure. We just tried to get inside as much as we could to stay cool."
K&N is proud to sponsor David Rampey, the veteran drag racer from Piedmont, Alabama
As many other racers, Rampy tries to position himself on the ladder for eliminations in a particular spot and for the Norwalk, Ohio event, he almost didn't get where he wanted to be. "The first runs, I had not run it wide open," he admitted. "So, I wasn't where I wanted to be after the first two qualifying sessions. I thought, man I hope we could move up, because as it turned out, if we would have stayed where we were, we would have had the number one qualifier second round and we didn't want that. So, on the final session we were able to pick up and move up to what I thought was a pretty good spot."
After moving up from the number eight spot to number five during the final session on Friday, Rampy set up to face Stu Sandhaus in round one during the most oppressively hot day of the event, Saturday. "I felt like the heat really played to our advantage," he said the multi-time champion K&N racer. "Our car does just not fall off in the heat like a lot of cars do. So, I just felt like we had a good opportunity there if we could just do our job."
Rampy skillfully drove his K&N Comp car to take just enough of the stripe over Sandhaus for the round one win, all while staying safely close to his index and not taking any Competition Index Control(C.I.C.) hit to carry into round two where he would face Steve Ambrose from Michigan.
"The heat seemed to work good for us on Saturday," he pointed out. "The track
(temps) didn't really seem to give us too much of a problem, we did have tire shake a little bit, but we made an adjustment and it seemed to be pretty good from there. It actually surprised me that we were getting down the track as good as we were."
Rampy used a .036 starting line advantage over Ambrose in round two, to easily take the win and secure a spot for him and his K&N Bantam Roadster to take part in Sunday's elimination rounds.
No matter was stage of your racing career, winning never gets old
"A lot of people really struggled during this event," he said of his second round opponent. "I don't know if it was track for them or what."
Sunday's temps would remain warm, but nearly twenty degrees cooler combined with less humidity for the remainder of the event and the help that it would give the cars to pick up some E.T., was much welcomed by Rampy and his crew. "Well, the only problem about where I did end up qualifying was that I felt like he had the advantage over us," Rampy admitted of his third round pairing with Justin Rosen. "And if he ended up making a real good run, then we might be in trouble. So I was just hoping that he didn't, that he was really late on the tree or that he red-lighted or something. But just to outrun him, I just felt like he had the advantage over us."
The round played out to Rampy's advantage as Rosen had taken a .04 C.I.C. hit the previous day and would have to carry that into his round with the seasoned K&N champion. Rosen went for it on the line, in hopes of making up for his handicap and his .019 red light became favorable moment in Rampy's quest for the Comp Eliminator Wally.
"The key round for me during the race was the third round match-up," Rampy noted. "With him redlighting, I was able to get by clean
(no CIC). We only qualified fifty-one under and that was about all we could go in that heat. But then when it cooled off on Sunday, I felt like we could go a fair amount faster, like fifty-six or fifty-seven under. The round with Brian Browell in the semi-finals was another one of those rounds that I knew was going to be tough, but they didn't seem to be having the best weekend with the heat."
Rampy used another huge holeshot win to send Browell packing in the semifinals and still stay way safe on his index as he sailed into the Comp Eliminator final.
While his car had been doing an outstanding job over the course of the event, it was Rampy's good, very consistent reaction times that seemed to be lighting up the big red "W" high atop the scoreboard in his lane during each of his rounds and without having lane choice in the final, he was hoping he would be able to keep up the pace.
"For some reason, we had been in the left lane all day," he explained. "I felt like the right lane, for one reason or another, might be a little worse. Somebody had actually asked me right before the finals, if I thought the right lane was slower. I told them that I didn't really see it in qualifying, but it had been several days since then and what blew me away was that all four of the Pro Stock cars, in the semi-final, blew the tires off and I could just not figure that out. Like what in the world was going on with those guys and the track conditions."
Although put in the other lane, Rampy stayed deadly consistent on his reaction times from the previous rounds and was only a mere two-thousands of a second slower than his last hit at the tree, but his final round competitor, Bo Butner, gave him a job to do at the far end of the track after posting a near perfect reaction time and nearly three hundredths quicker.
"I felt like he would be on time. Bo is a good driver," Rampy said. "I felt like I had a little cushion on him and that was my reason for not trying to hit the tree any harder and just try to stay right where I had been."
Rampy saved his quickest pass of the long weekend to secure the Competition Eliminator victory, doing so in his 135th NHRA National Event final round to take home his 81st Championship Wally.
"I just really appreciate all that K&N does for us and the quality of their products that helps keep everything going in all the conditions we run in," said the latest Comp Eliminator winner. "It was some pretty crazy heat this weekend and it's always nice not to have to worry about how our engines are being protected from one round to the next. I just feel like when you run the best that's available, you can just concentrate on your racing and that's why we protect both our Comp and Super Stock cars with K&N."
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