Two Comp Eliminator Finals for David Rampy at NHRA Nationals in Brainerd & Div 3 in Bowling Green

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David Rampy drives a Bantam dragster in the extremely competitive NHRA Competition Eliminator class
David Rampy drives a Bantam dragster in the extremely competitive NHRA Competition Eliminator class
With an outstanding professional sportsman drag racing career that keeps going like the Energizer Bunny, David Rampy recently added two more Competition Eliminator finals to his sensational total. Rampy first put his K&N A/EA 1932 Bantam into the final round during the 31st annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota and after making near one thousand mile trek from Minnesota to southwest Kentucky, he did it again the very next weekend during the final NHRA Div 3 event in Bowling Green.

The Piedmont, Alabama racer not only competes with his 1932 Bantam at each event he attends, he also wheels his K&N backed Camaro in Super Stock, but that car wouldn't be the one taking him to either of his latest finals. "It was just one of those races in the Super Stock car and you gotta have some of that luck and it just wasn't there for the Brainerd race," he pointed out.

Qualifying position in both of the classes that Rampy competes in are very important and depending on what particular cars are entered and how many that makes final position especially crucial at some races even more than others. "There was a short field in Comp and actually most of the classes there were kind of short," he stated. "Sometimes I wonder why they [NHRA] has that race way up there, but the fans they get for that event are just incredible. But the car count is a little lower, just because the location is so far away. But, since the car count was short, I hate to admit it, but for this event I really didn't care where I qualified as long as it was on the other side of the ladder from Bruno [Massel]."

"So, we accomplished that," he continued. "I felt like it probably wasn't the best spot in the world, it was a decent spot, but like I said, the main thing was to stay opposite of Bruno, so if we did have to meet, it wouldn't be until the final. Right now, he's so dangum fast, ain't nobody that can outrun him."
Rampy recenlty made it to the final round of elimiations at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota
Rampy recenlty made it to the final round of elimiations at the Lucas Oil Nationals in Brainerd, Minnesota

Competition Eliminator is a highly complex category made up of a multitude of classes, each with their own index based on weight verses cubic inches. A category where you can find everything from high winding twin-turbo 4-cylinders, to big block Chevy's and even crazy seven second inline 6-clyinders that were swiped out of a Chevy Trailblazer. It's all about getting there first, which most of the time will take running well under your class index, and unlike other categories there is no breakout to worry about, but you can "hurt" your index or take a "CIC" hit that a driver will have to carry into any further rounds for the remainder of the event.

Rampy made his way through his first round match up with Frank Cervelli where the pair left nearly identical on the tree, but it would be Rampy just edging Cervelli for the win light, doing so while carefully protecting his index. Next the K&N racer would race Pat Nahan, who was trying to claim one at his home race. This time Rampy wouldn't be quite so fortunate in the CIC department and would take a three hundredths hit when he dipped .532 under his 7.84 A/EA index after posting a 7.308 to take the win and move on to the semi-finals.

"That was just going to be a very tough run," he noted of the pass against Nahan. "I'm not saying any negative, by any means, about him, but he's still a little inexperienced. I felt like if I could cut a good light and he might make a mistake, and he did when he was a little late on the tree, that we would be able to squeak by. I'm glad that I didn't have to use anymore [index] than I had to there."

"The weather over the event was about as perfect as you could ask for," he pointed out. "It was about as beautiful as could be, but there is no barometer there. Normally, if you were to have been about anywhere else, folks would have been a lot faster and the low barometer affects altitude there and just makes a difference on how the cars run. The cars still ran good, just not like what they could say if you were closer to sea level."

Rampy's car was still certainly running good enough to take down yet another competitor in the semifinal round. Even though he was now carrying .03 on his index, Rampy's next opponent, Shaun Vincent was carrying even more after taking a big chunk of the stripe in his previous round win. Rampy slightly edged Vincent at the line and the two fought to take the stripe by as little as possible, both drivers dipping over .500 under their index. Rampy came out on top, grabbing the win, and unfortunately picking up an extra hundredth of CIC in the process to make his total .04 heading into the final.

On the other side of the Comp Eliminator ladder, Bruno Massel was also making his way to the final round. In his 2010 Cobalt that he competes with in DD/AT, he had two lucky rounds right from the word go, when his first round competition was unable to make the call and that set him up for the bye in the quarterfinals. It was in the semifinal round where Massel gave himself quite a large tenth of a second CIC to carry on to the final round pairing with Rampy.

Rampy points out that with the way Massel's car is running compared to his classes assigned index, barring something breaking or odd taking place, it would be quite a feat to take him down and when asked what kind of mindset that would put him in going side-by-side, he was quick to say there was no pressure. "You just go out there and do your best and I didn't want to red light to him, because then he wouldn't have to take any permanent hit to his index," he explained. "I knew that I at least needed to try to put together a good run. It is very frustrating to go to the starting line knowing that unless he breaks or something that you are not going to win, but that's just part of the way things are in Comp Eliminator."

While Rampy was correct in knowing the event win would go to Massel, being the smart planner that he is, he made Massel work for it and by doing so, Massel's index took a slight permanent CIC adjustment. Rampy noted that it just may help the rest of the class some during future.

With runner-up honors in tow, Rampy packed up from the NHRA National Event and headed south to the final NHRA Division 3 event of the season. Much like the national event, Rampy swatted his way through four tough rounds of Competition at Beech Bend Raceway. Unfortunately for the multi-time world champ, he didn't get a say in how things would go down the in final round against fellow K&N racer, Brian Browell. During the semi-finals, something went awry on his normally trusty 1932 Bantam that had he and his crew chief thrashing feverously before the final.

It was just not meant to be for Rampy and when it was time to go, his car stumbled off the line allowing Browell the victory.

Rampy will continue his chaotic schedule of back-to-back events with his next stop being the NHRA U.S. Nationals just outside of Indianapolis, Indiana. A much shorter between event road trip for he and his Super Stock and Comp Eliminator cars, where he'll have just a couple of days to get them ready before the first scheduled qualifying sessions, for what many consider to be the biggest, most prestigious drag race each season.

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