TOPEKA, Kans. (May 19, 2018) – Deric Kramer inked his second career No. 1 qualifying position during qualifying at the 30th annual Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties in his American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro.
In the first session at Heartland Motorsports Park, Kramer nabbed two bonus points when he went second fastest of the session with a 6.652-second pass at 207.88 mph. The Michael Hiner-led team returned for the evening session and improved with a 6.645, 207.78.
With weather pending on Saturday, it was unclear if Pro Stock would get both of their remaining qualifying runs in, so the KB Racing-powered team knew they had to capitalize on any opportunities they received. Saturday’s first session produced yet again an improved 6.630, 208.39 in the green and black machine. With Mother Nature’s cooperation, the American Ethanol team set the scoreboards on fire in the last pair of Pro Stock when Kramer drove it straight down the boulevard with a 6.613, 208.42. Not only did this stellar run collect him three bonus points, it shot him all the way up to the No. 1 spot heading into raceday.
“We didn’t really think we were gonna go that fast,” Kramer admitted. “When Greg [Anderson] ran that 6.62, we thought we’d be running right there with him, but we didn’t think we had a 61 in it; we didn’t expect that at all. It was cool when I crossed the finish line and they radioed to me what I ran, and I could hear everyone celebrating. I really gotta thank all the American Ethanol and Poet people and all of our sponsors that help us get here.”
Kramer’s second career No. 1 qualifier, and second of the 2018 season, will give him lane choice over Will Hatcher who is making his Pro Stock debut in the American Ethanol Dodge that Kramer ran prior to the 2018 season.
“It’s unfortunate that it shook out that way, but we’ll have an American Ethanol showdown in the first round and an American Ethanol car will no matter what go to the quarterfinals,” he smiled.
DERIC KRAMER, AMERICAN ETHANOL CHEVROLET CAMARO
Q1: 6.652, 207.88
Q2: 6.645, 207.78
Q3: 6.630, 208.39
Q4: 6.613, 208.42
Qualified: No. 1
First Round Opponent: Will Hatcher