RAMPY'S 100TH WIN WAS CULMINATION OF BLESSINGS
David Rampy isn't the kind of drag racer who has largely taken anything for granted
Stuck at 99 races, the iconic sportsman racer from Piedmont, Ala., didn't wonder if the monumental 100th win would come, but when. The humble as humble can be drag racer who won his first NHRA event in 1983 would never admit to feeling that way, but the look on his face each week as he rolled into the staging lanes for an NHRA event told the story.
Nonetheless, the magical victory came in the Comp final round at the 2018 Auto Club NHRA Finals at Pomona.
The moment was not lost on Rampy as he rolled to a stop at the sportsman winners circle at the Fairplex. Winning 100 races is a big deal.
"It absolutely is," Rampy said in his humblest southern drawl. "You know when you start out, and you win that first race you never dream you’d have the opportunity to win 100. But you know we’ve been very blessed. You know, I’m a Christian, and the Lord has blessed me beyond measure."
Of course, in trademark Rampy fashion he is all too willing to deflect the credit.
"I'm not only blessed just in the racing but the people He’s put me with," Rampy explained. "It’s all about the people, what they’ve done, you know. Ray Skillman, Harold Stout, Allan Patterson, and Todd, the companies Hoosier and just K&N, just so many companies."
It seems like yesterday when Rampy drove his father-in-law Sonny Ray's Super Stock/J Automatic Pontiac GTO to the 1983 NHRA Cajun Nationals Super Stock crown.
One of those proudest of his accomplishment was three-time IHRA Top Sportsman champion, Don Young.
Rampy bestowed the title of mentor on Young, who traveled the roads from race to race not only instilling driving tips but life's lessons along the way.
Little did Rampy know on a brisk fall afternoon in September 1985, he'd watch Young lose his life while racing in the second round. Rampy understood from that fateful day forward, the lessons learned from Young would need to be carried out if he wanted to be successful in both life and racing.
Sunday Rampy said he felt Young's presence in this momentous occasion.
"He’d be tickled to death because, in a sense, we both accomplished this," Rampy said. "He’s the one that really brought me under his wing. Definitely, he had a huge deal in making this all happen for me, not this but teaching me how to drive a race car and being able to win and be competitive. It’s unbelievable what he did for my career. I wish he was here, there’s no doubt."
Rampy also addressed the speculation of his future, kind of.
"I don’t know. I don’t," Rampy admitted. "We’re going to go home. It depends on my sponsors and everything. Just see what happens. I’m not really ready to quit; I don’t think. But you know, we’ll just wait and see what happens. It’s a long winter. We’ll just enjoy it and keep everybody guessing. It keeps me guessing. I don’t know."
The 100th win relieved a significant amount of pressure from Rampy's shoulders, a weight he felt lifted as he crossed the finish line ahead of Doug Lambeck.
"You can’t describe it," Rampy said. "A lot of things flooded in but the first thing I did when I went through the finish line was I thanked God because He has blessed me unbelievably and I just had to give Him the credit, and I thank God for all of it."