Deric Kramer wanted to step away from racing altogether a few years ago.
“We weren’t seeing improvements in the program we were running,” he said.
The turning point for Kramer was coming up with the partnership with KB racing and seeing improvements week in and week out.
“I can now go to a race knowing there’s a chance I can win if we do everything right,” he said. “It’s what keeps bringing me back.”
Now the 34-year-old finds himself in sixth place of the Pro Stock division standings with two races to go before the Countdown. The upcoming event being the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals Aug. 16-18 at Brainerd International Raceway, which Kramer won last year.
“What I want to accomplish this weekend is to get as close to, if not equal, my performance last year,” he said. “The countdown is coming to a close, so we are going to try to make up some ground these last two weeks.”
Kramer hopes to be in the semifinals or better these last two weeks of the season at Brainerd and at Indianapolis. If he can do that he feels he has a great chance to come away with the championship once the countdown races hit.
Kramer hopes the weather will be similar to last year at BIR, so he can come on top again.
“We were one of the fastest cars in a lot of the sessions last year except for the one where everyone qualified,” he said. “We’ve struggled in the ‘good sessions’ this year and it’s something we’ve been working on and hopefully we can translate that into better qualifying positions than where we qualified last year at least.”
Kramer already has a win under his belt this year winning the Route 66 NHRA Nationals in June in Chicago, Ill. He defeated Erica Enders who went red.
“We were able to make good runs and keep lane choice for the majority of that event,” Kramer said on winning in Chicago.
One of the things he has struggled with this season is having tire shakes and not being able to make it down the race track. Including their last race Aug. 4, when a tire shake in the semifinals cost him a chance to win the Magic Dry Organic Absorbent NHRA Northwest Nationals in Kent, WA.
“You can’t win if you shake and shut off so it is something we are working on,” he said.
Kramer started racing when he was seven-years-old and it was his father who got him into it. His father David Kramer will race in the Competition Eliminator class at BIR this weekend as well.
“It’s a family affair and my dad is from the Minnesota area so it makes it a nice home race for us,” Kramer said. “Last year, I got the win with my grandpa, dad and myself all in the winner’s circle which was really cool. It was nice to share that moment with my grandpa and my dad.”
Kramer’s father moved to Colorado where Deric has lived his whole life. Racing in the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals gives him a good chance to go back home to where his family grew up in Minnesota.
Kramer enjoys racing in Minnesota because it’s a different flavor than racing in Colorado. With all the oxygen around thanks to the trees it makes it easier to have good runs at Brainerd.
“If we can have a nice dry event, the pro stock cars will perform really, really well,” he said.
Deric Kramer Infobox
Car: American Ethanol Chevrolet Camaro
Division: Pro Stock
Hometown: Sterling, Colo.
Crew Chief: Mike Hiner
Current standings: Sixth