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World Champ Seeks to Extend Dominance on All-Concrete Racetracks

EPPING, N.H. – When you’ve won three consecutive NHRA Top Fuel championships and taken your Capco Contractors dragster to the final round in 47 of your last 83 starts, as Texan Steve Torrence has done, there’s not a race on the Camping World tour in which you’re not going to be considered the favorite.

However, when the competitive surface is all-concrete, as it is at New England Dragway, site of this week’s eighth TascaParts.com New England Nationals, the odds that either Torrence or his dad Billy will hoist the iconic Wally trophy awarded at NHRA national events are astronomical.

In the last 12 races on all-concrete tracks, one or the other of the Capco drivers has reached the winners’ circle in all but one. That’s right, 11 wins in 12 races including the younger Torrence’s fourth straight victory in the NGK/NTK 4Wide Nationals at ZMax Dragway in Charlotte just last month.

“We don’t do anything different on the all-concrete tracks,” Torrence said. “It’s all about preparation and application. I know that (crew chief) Richard Hogan and these Capco boys are going to give me a car that can win on any surface. I’d trust ‘em on dirt. As I’ve said so many times, we’ve got a really good group that works well together.

“About all I can do as the driver is screw it up,” mused the 43-time tour winner, “and, fortunately, I’ve been doing an okay job lately. When you have a car like this, it just gives you more confidence as a driver. You don’t feel like you have to do too much. You just have to do your job.”

Torrence has been doing his job better than most for the last five seasons during which time he has run up a 217-52 record. That’s especially impressive when one considers that the former Top Alcohol Dragster world champion had only a 68-87 Top Fuel record through his first 95 pro races.

“It just comes with time and the experience of having to go from complete focus to being able to relax and then to go right back into the zone,” explained the 38-year-old cancer survivor of his current level of comfort behind the wheel of a 12,000-horsepower race car. “I’ve got a lot of laps in these things.”

Although he’s won the last two races at New England Dragway, Torrence never has started from the No. 1 qualifying position. He won from the No. 3 position in 2018 and from No. 9 in 2019. The race was not contested in 2021 due to the pandemic.

The first round of qualifying in the nitro categories is scheduled for 6:15 p.m., Eastern time, on Friday. Qualifying will continue with sessions at 1:15 p.m. and 5 p.m. Saturday. Eliminations will begin at 11 a.m. Sunday with TV coverage on the FOX broadcast network starting at 1:30 p.m. Sunday.

Looking Back
Steve Torrence in the last 12 NHRA races on all-concrete tracks

Date/Site Qualifying Position/Racing Result
April 29, 2018, Charlotte 4Wide 4. WINNER over Doug Kalitta, Terry McMillen and Clay Millican
July 8, 2018, Epping 3. Beat Dan Mercier, Shawn Reed, Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown
Sept. 16, 2018, Reading, Pa. 4. Beat Bill Litton, Mike Salinas, Clay Millican and Tony Schumacher
Oct. 7, 2018, Dallas 2. Beat Bill Litton, Blake Alexander, Tony Schumacher and Terry McMillen
Oct. 14, 2018, Charlotte 22. Beat Chris Karamesines, Leah Pruett, Schumacher and Brittany Force
April 28, 2019, Charlotte 4Wide 6. WINNER over Clay Millican, Terry McMillen and Leah Pruett
July 7, 2019, Epping 9. Beat Austin Prock, Terry McMillen, Richie Crampton and Scott Palmer
Sept. 15, 2019, Reading, Pa. 8. Lost to Clay Millican
Oct. 3-4, 2019, Charlotte 21. Beat Lex Joon, Clay Millican, Justin Ashley and Doug Kalitta
#Oct. 20, 2019, Dallas 4. Lost to Shawn Reed
Oct. 18, 2020, Dallas 1. Beat Cameron Ferre, bye, Shawn Langdon and Billy Torrence
May 16, 2021, Charlotte 4Wide 2. WINNER over Brittany Force, Antron Brown and Josh Hart

#Race won by Billy Torrence

Steve Torrence at the TascaParts.com New England Nationals

YearQualifying Position/Racing Result
2013 Epping 8. Lost to Clay Millican
2014 Epping 9. Lost to Tony Schumacher
2015 Epping 4. Lost to Dave Connolly
2016 Epping 2. Beat Smax Smith, bye, Doug Kalitta; lost to Antron Brown
2017 Epping 8. Beat Doug Kalitta; lost to Leah Pritchett
2018 Epping 3. Beat Dan Mercier, Shawn Reed, Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown

2019 Epping 9. Beat Austin Prock, Terry McMillen, Richie Crampton and Scott Palmer

Steve’s quickest time: 3.710 seconds, June 3, 2016
Steve’s fastest speed: 331.20 mph, June 4, 2017

Track records – 3.673 seconds by Leah Pruett, June 3, 2017; 331.69 mph by Doug Kalitta, June 4, 2017.

Steve Torrence this season

Date/SiteQualifying Position/Racing Result
March 14 at Gainesville, FL1. Beat Joe Morrison; lost to Josh Hart.
April 18 at Las Vegas, NV2. WINNER over Doug Kalitta (Clay Millican and Antron Brown)
May 2 at Atlanta, GA2. Beat Buddy Hull, Justin Ashley, Shawn Langdon; lost to Antron Brown
May 16 at Charlotte, NC2. WINNER over Brittany Force (Antron Brown and Josh Hart)
May 23 at Houston, TX1. Beat Mitch King, advanced on earned bye run, beat Clay Millican and Doug Kalitta.

* * * *

(After 5 of 21 scheduled events)

1. Steve Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contractors dragster 529
2. Antron Brown, Pittsboro, Ind., Matco Tools dragster 389
3. Shawn Langdon, Indianapolis, DHL/Kalitta Air dragster 321
4. Brittany Force, Yorba Linda, Calif. Monster Energy/FLAV-R-PAC dragster 308
5. Doug Kalitta, Ann Arbor, Mich., Mac Tools/Mobil 1 dragster 289
6. Josh Hart, Ocala, Fla., Burnyzz/Technet dragster 278
7. Billy Torrence, Kilgore, Texas, Capco Contractors dragster 267
8. Justin Ashley, Plainview, N.Y., Strutmasters/GuardLab dragster 245
9. Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Parts Plus dragster 238
10. Leah Pruett, Avon, Ind., Whisps Cheese Crisps dragster 215

* * * *
Looking Ahead

2021 NHRA Camping World Tour

6-27 Summit Racing Equipment Nationals Norwalk, OH
7-18 Dodge Mile-High Nationals Denver, CO
7-25 NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sonoma, CA
8-01 Lucas Oil Winternationals Pomona, CA
8-15 Menard’s Nationals Topeka, KS
8-22 Lucas Oil Nationals Brainerd, MN
9-05 Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals Indianapolis, IN




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