CAPCO Driver Climbs to Sixth in Mello Yello Points

October 18, 2015 -- Transplanted Aussie Richie Crampton continued his big moment mastery of a frustrated Steve Torrence Sunday, beating the 32-year-old Texan and his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster in the final round of the 30th annual AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex.

 It was Crampton’s second win in as many final rounds against Torrence, who clinched the 2005 NHRA World Championship in the Top Alcohol Dragster division with a win on the all-concrete surface at the iconic track.  His other final round win denied Torrence a 2014 victory in the world’s oldest, largest and richest single drag race, the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis, Ind.

After beating three-time NHRA champion Larry Dixon in round one and 2012 Mello Yello champ Shawn Langdon in round two, Torrence dispatched five-time former IHRA champion Clay Millican to reach the Top Fuel final for the 11th time in his career but for the first time at the Motorplex.

Despite the final round result, the cancer survivor moved from ninth to sixth in Mello Yello points with only two races remaining in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.  After a week off, the pros will reconvene in Las Vegas for the 15th annual Toyota Nationals.

“We had a great car and we had a great weekend but we just didn’t get it done in the final round,” Torrence said.  “Those guys are tough, but then they’re all tough.  You race Dixon, Langdon and Milican in the first three rounds and your reward is racing Crampton and (crew chief) Aaron Brooks.  That’s what I’ve been saying about this class for the last four years.  You have to bring your ‘A’ game every round.  There aren’t any freebies out there.”

Although Torrence qualified No. 5 in the field, he was upstaged early-on by his dad, Billy, who took the second Capco Contractors dragster to the No. 2 starting position in 3.746 seconds at 327.27 mph.

After beating Kebin Kinsley in round one, the elder Torrence lost in the second to 2012 champion and current point leader Antron Brown, 3.732 to 3.789. 

Steve Torrence, who won earlier this year at Denver when he beat eight-time series champ Tony Schumacher in the final, set a torrid early pace with times of 3.735, 3.735 and 3.781 seconds, the latter earning him the choice of lanes for the final.

Unfortunately, he couldn’t turn that advantage into a win as his 10,000 horsepower hybrid lost traction on a 105 degree racetrack, slowing to 4.074 seconds at 267.32 mph while Crampton was stopping the 1,000 foot timers in 3.974 seconds at 283.07 mph.


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