For Immediate Release
Contact: Dave Densmore, denswood@aol.com / 214-244-0008, mobile


Texan Takes Capco Dragster to Third Place in Mello Yello Points

            March 16, 2014 -- If you’re gonna be stuck, being stuck in the semifinals isn’t all that bad.  For the third time in as many races on the NHRA Mello Yello tour, Texan Steve Torrence took the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to the semifinal round Sunday before falling to points leader and eventual winner Doug Kalitta in the 45th annual Amalie Gatornationals at Auto Plus Raceway.

            Despite his disappointment in the final result, the 30-year-old was able to take some solace in the fact that his consistency has kept him solidly in contention for the $500,000 championship behind only Kalitta and 2012 series champion Antron Brown.

            When racing resumes in two weeks at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, site of the 15th annual SummitRacing.com Nationals, Torrence will trail Kalitta by 79 points and Brown by only 26.

            “I like where we are,” said the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion.  “We’re winning rounds.  All we have to do now is win some races.  My guys are doing a kick-ass job and we expect to be players for this Mello Yello Championship.   In the past we’ve struggled with consistency, so this is a great start for us.”

            A four-time winner since moving up to Top Fuel, Torrence advanced from his worst starting position of the season (eighth), beating first Khalid alBalooshi and then J.R. Todd.  Against alBalooshi, the winner at the season-opening Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., Torrence unloaded the quickest time of eliminations at 3.790 seconds coupled to the event’s fastest speed at 325.69 miles per hour.

            In the semis, Torrence left first with a solid .070 reaction time (to .103 for Kalitta), but little went right after that.  An almost immediate loss of traction slowed the 10,000 horsepower dragster to 7.663 seconds at just 88.07 mph while Kalitta’s Mac Tools entry sped through the 1,000 foot timers in 3.856 at 319.52 mph.

            “Really, we don’t know what happened,” Torrence said of the semifinal.  “We didn’t change it enough (to expect that result), but we’re feeling good going to Vegas.  The third time wasn’t a charm, but maybe the fourth time will be.”

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