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


Fourth Career ‘Pole’ for Driver of Capco Contractors Dragster

            April 26, 2014 -- Crew chief Richard Holcomb’s go-for-the-jugular performance philosophy finally paid dividends Saturday at Royal Purple Raceway and, as a result, driver Steve Torrence will start the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster from the No. 1 qualifying position in Sunday’s 27th annual O’Reilly Auto Parts Spring Nationals.

            After misfiring on two Friday qualifying attempts, Torrence raced through the 1,000 foot timers in 3.786 seconds at 321.81 miles per hour  in Saturday’s first qualifying session to edge seven-time series champion Tony Schumacher by .004 seconds for the top spot. 

            The 31-year-old Texan’s No. 1 time was just a tick off the 3.772 track record he shares with three-time world champion Larry Dixon.  He lost the No. 1 starting spot to Dixon at the 2012 Spring Nationals on the NHRA’s top speed tiebreaker.

            “Before the run, Holcomb told me ‘low ET or no ET,’” Torrence said.  “The conditions were right.  There was no reason to be conservative.”

            Indeed, Saturday conditions were considerably cooler than Friday’s and it would be difficult to get much closer to sea level, one of the performance benchmarks for the sport’s quickest and fastest cars.  Royal Purple Raceway is just 10 feet above sea level and when track temperatures remain manageable it has been one of those tracks that yields record numbers.

            It is the fourth No. 1 start for Torrence since he moved up to the sport’s ultimate category in 2006.  The last time he qualified No. 1 was July 20, 2013 at the Mopar Mile-High Nationals at Denver, Colo.

            However, now comes the hard part, which is transforming qualifying success into a Sunday victory.  Torrence has yet to do that in Top Fuel although he won from the No. 1 qualifying position five times during his Top Alcohol Dragster Championship season in 2005.

            “Consistency is going to be the key (on Sunday),” Torrence said.  “There should be some 3.70s in the first round but it’s suppose to get a little hotter.  I think it’ll take low to mid-3.80s in the afternoon.  Whatever happens with the weather, I have a lot of confidence in this team.  We  have a good race car and nothing would be sweeter than to win one of these races at home.  I’ve never won a Top Fuel race in Texas, not here or at Dallas.”

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