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Texan Steve Torrence takes Top Fuel No. 1 qualifying spot at AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals

by Mike Haag | Posted on Saturday, October 14th, 2017

ENNIS, Texas – Steve Torrence will start Sunday’s elimination rounds at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals from the No. 1 qualifying spot.

Steve Torrence. NHRA photo

Torrence, a resident of Kilgore, Texas and driver of the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster, secured the Top Fuel No. 1 qualifier after recording a 3.682 pass at 327.51 during Friday’s qualifying.

After two additional rounds of qualifying on Saturday that time held up and was good enough to earn Torrence his third No. 1 qualifier of the season, 16th of his career and first at his hometown track.

“It’s huge to be able to come here and perform well in front of the hometown crowd,” Torrence said.  “We have a lot of fans and a lot of family and people who we work with and employees of Capco so to come to here and run well for them.   That’s what it is about in being able to show the guys to there what we do every day what we are doing is paying off.  We’ve got a pretty good race car and it is something that we can be proud of.”

Torrence will start elimination rounds by facing off against Blake Alexander.  Eliminations are set to begin at a1 a.m.

Steve Torrence. NHRA photo

“We need to go every round possible and get as many points,” Torrence said.  “Like I said last night I think this championship will go down to two or three points.  It could be that close.”

Torrence has a narrow 56-point lead over Doug Kalitta.  Brittany Force, Antron Brown, Clay Millican and Tony Schumacher are all within striking distance in the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

Schumacher, who is the winningest driver Top Fuel history, piloted his U.S. Army dragster to the second qualifying position with a 3.692 at 327.66 pass and will face Terry Haddock in the first elimination round. Three-time and reigning world champion Antron Brown is in third and will face Shawn Reed.

“We are that lone team against the powerhouses and this weekend they are right across the street from us in the pits – all three of them and it motivates us because I don’t want to get beat by them,” Torrence said.  “I like kicking those guys’ butts and I like talking trash while we do it.”

Torrence added, “It still is the same situation, the David verses Goliath story anytime you go against anyone that has that much information, data and every lap.  They have a lot of money but we spend a lot of money on it too.  I wouldn’t say that they are just outspending us but they just got more stuff and more people and more everything to work on it day and night and figure out how to beat us.  We are doing everything we can to stay ahead of them and right now its working.  The way that this Countdown is just a throw your number in a hat and see who comes out at the end of it.  You have zero room for error.   We just have to stay really focused and really driven and try not to make any mistakes.”

Notes:  Torrence was the fastest in every session except the third in which he was second quickest at 3.790 behind Leah Pritchett’s 3.780.  His times in order were 3.711, 3.682, 3.790 and 3.728. It was also the 53rd straight race in which he qualified eighth or better.  He has won eight of his 16 career NHRA Top Fuel victories this season and will be aiming for his first ever win at the Texas Motorplex.

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About the Author

Mike Haag has covered motorsports in San Antonio and South Texas for more than 30 years. In addition to working for the San Antonio Express-News for nearly 28 years, Mike also has co-hosted TrackSmack with Dawn Murphy for 15 race seasons. In addition to being a writer, Mike also teaches English at Floresville High School.

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