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


CAPCO Contractors Dragster Loses Traction at Epping

June 14, 2015 --After briefly fighting his way back into the Top 10 with his strongest qualifying performance of the new season, Steve Torrence couldn’t maneuver the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster down an exceedingly hot New England Dragway track surface Sunday and, as a result, bowed out of the third annual Auto-Plus New England Nationals in the opening round.

            It was another painful loss for the 32-year-old cancer survivor who will move on to Bristol, Tenn., site of his most recent victory on the Mello Yello tour, for the 15th annual Thunder Valley Nationals.  He’ll start qualifying on Friday trailing Clay Millican by 14 points in what is shaping up as a battle for the tenth and final transfer spot into the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship playoffs beginning in September.

            After laying down four flawless preliminary runs that earned him a No. 4 start and five qualifying bonus points, more than anyone except No. 1 qualifier and seven-time series champion Tony Schumacher, Torrence expected to work longer than one round on Sunday.

            Unfortunately, the elements proved his undoing.  Light morning overcast gave way to sunshine and heat and some of the sport’s best crew chiefs simply couldn’t keep up with the changing conditions especially after several major engine failures and resultant clean-up operations extended the first round beyond original projections.

Nevertheless, Torrence managed to get his 10,000 horsepower hybrid through the first area of concern without a problem.  In fact, he earned a .048 of a second starting line advantage over Top Fuel rookie Dave Connolly, a refugee from Pro Stock widely considered one of the best pure drivers in the sport.  That was the only highlight of the effort, however.  By halftrack, the big rear slicks on the Capco dragster had begun to lose their grip. 

Torrence feathered the throttle, a technique called “backpedaling,” in a bid to regain traction, but to no avail.  It may have been the Texan’s most frustrating loss in a season of frustrating losses.

“Great car,” said the former World Champion in the Top Alcohol Dragster class (2005).  “Great effort by my guys (but) we just can’t seem to get over the hump.  We had the best car in qualifying but conditions changed more than we anticipated (on Sunday) and that bit us. 

“All we can do is regroup and try again this weekend at Bristol,” he said.  “It’ll be Father’s Day and that’s always a little extra incentive for me because my dad’s done so much to give me the opportunity to race this hot rod for Capco, the Chris Kyle Frog Foundation, Mac Tools, Red Line Oil, all the people who support us on the good days and the bad ones.

“Today we lost a drag race, nothing more.  We didn’t lose our lives or our limbs or our loved ones.”


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