TORRENCE DROPS NARROW DECISION TO TODD AT FINALS
No. 6 Finish Is Best Ever For Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster Driver
November 16, 2014 --Steve Torrence overcame a poor qualifying performance Sunday at Auto Club Raceway but, in the end, he couldn’t overcome J.R. Todd at the 50th annual Auto Club Finals.
In a classic second round match between two of the sport’s brightest young stars, Todd got his Optima Batteries Top Fuel dragster to the finish line .014 of a second ahead of Torrence’s Capco Contractors entry in a race in which both drivers stopped the 1,000 foot timers in 3.76 seconds.
For Torrence, it was a heartbreaking end to a frustrating season in which he failed to win a tour event for the first time in three years.
Despite the early exit, the 31-year-old Texan marked two things off his racing “to do” list. With his first round upset of Doug Kalitta, he lit his first win light in six appearances in the season finale and, by winning his 27th round of the season, he secured a sixth place finish – the best of his professional career.
Billy Torrence, Steve’s dad and founder and CEO of Capco Contractors, also ended his abbreviated season on a positive note by directing his dragster to a career best time of 3.766 seconds at 326 miles per hour in a losing effort against eventual race winner Morgan Lucas in the very first round.
Although he raced in only eight of the 24 events in the series, the elder Torrence wound up 19th in Mello Yello points, just behind Lucas. His three round wins this year tripled the number he had won previously in Top Fuel.
The younger Torrence qualified only 13th in the field, equaling his worst start of the season, but in round one he beat the car and driver who set the qualifying pace for most of the season. That performance, coupled with his near-miss against Todd, sends the Capco team into the off-season on a high note.
“The big thing is we know we have two really good hot rods that will run with anybody out there,” Torrence said. “At the start of the year, everybody thinks they can win it all,” Torrence said, “but at the end, you know there’s only gonna be one champion.
“For the rest of us, that’s just motivation for next year.”
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