Drag Week has a way of drawing out the most creative and ingenuitive minds and machines year in and year out — when you need to run as quick as possible and survive hundreds of miles on the open road between quarter-mile pulls, some outside-the-box thinking is a virtual requirement.
Last year, NHRA Top Fuel star Richie Crampton debuted at Drag Week with a popular, patina-themed 1957 Chevrolet wagon with a turbocharged LS engine package under the hood. But that paled in comparison to what Crampton and good friend Jonnie Lindberg secretly had in store for Drag Week 2018.
Crampton, driver of the Craftsman Tools dragster for Kalitta Motorsports, rolled his ’57 out of the hauler at Drag Week tech-in day at the Atlanta Dragway in Georgia, not with an LS for power, but with a legitimate, died-in-the-wool supercharged Hemi fresh out of Lindberg’s former championship-winning Top Alcohol Funny Car. The hood missing, the Noonan Race Engineering-headed Hemi was there for all to see; and that’s where one of its most unique features became evident to the throngs of onlookers.
Video credit Street Machine TV
Just below the PSI screw supercharger mounted atop the billet water-jacketed Hemi, Crampton and Lindberg — driver of Jim Head’s NHRA fuel Funny Car and one of the sport’s brightest young minds — removed the burst panel in the intake manifold and installed a Holley EFI throttle body. In doing so, they can circumvent the un-roadworthy supercharger, replace the throttle linkage position, and drive the car on the road in a naturally-aspirated form — then when they arrive at the next track, unbolt the throttle body, replace the throttle linkage and re-install the supercharger drive belt. The duo is running the car in road trim on E85, and then switches the fuel system over to methanol for the track.
The first one is out of the way! Jonnie Lindberg is at the wheel - they took it A to B for a clean safe first run.Posted by Noonan Race Engineering on Monday, September 10, 2018
In addition to the powerplant, Lindberg has put the clutch and manually-shifted Lenco transmission right out of his Top Alcohol Funny Car into the ’57.
Because Crampton and Lindberg have to be in Reading, Pennsylvania on Friday for the NHRA Dodge Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway and will be unable to complete the full five-day tour, they’ve opted to run as an exhibition-only entry at Drag Week. With Lindberg at the wheel the ’57 made a successful — albeit far from perfect — lap in today’s opener at Atlanta, going 8.39 at a slowing 134 mph.