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


CAPCO Driver Hoping to Reverse Trend at Epping

June 7, 2015 -- The hole from which Steve Torrence must extricate himself if he hopes to contend for the 2015 Mello Yello championship got just a little bit deeper Sunday when the talented Texan found himself and his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster on the short end of another narrow decision, this one in the opening round of the 46th annual Toyota Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park.

            A first round loss to Doug Kalitta brought a sudden end to a weekend that began with tremendous promise.  Fortunately for Torrence, there will be little time to dwell on what might have been insomuch as racing resumes Friday with initial qualifying runs in the third annual Auto-Plus New England Nationals at Epping, N.H., the second of three consecutive NHRA tour events.

            For the fourth time in the last five races, Torrence ran well enough to win.  The margin Sunday was .033 of a second, not as close as his first round loss to Brittany Force at Topeka, Kan. (.0007 of a second) but close enough to leave the cancer survivor wondering what in the world he has to do to get a win light.

            In its last two starts, the black-and-red Capco hybrid has been one of the most consistent dragsters in the field.  Only once in those two races did it fail to go down the track under power and at Raceway Park, it stopped the 1,000 foot timers in 3.802, 3.781, 3.765, 3.806 and 3.804 seconds. 

            That’s a competitive average of 3.795 seconds.  The only driver with a quicker series and the only other one to go down the track under power on every run was point leader and eventual race winner Antron Brown, who averaged 3.794 seconds with a track record 3.725.

            Of course, that’s little consolation to Torrence, a four-time Top Fuel winner who has lost races in four of the last five events by an average margin of .029 of a second. 

            “It doesn’t matter whether you lose by two thousandths or two seconds, it’s still a loss,” said the disappointed former Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion (2005).  “I hate it for my guys because the car’s been bad ass.  Once again, we had the quickest losing time in the first round.  In fact, we were quicker than everyone but Tony (reigning World Champion Tony Schumacher) and Antron.”

            Unfortunately, such consistency has not paid dividends – at least not yet.  As a result, Torrence has slipped out of the Top 10 for the first time in more than a calendar year.  Fortunately, the margin by which he trails No. 10 Clay Millican entering this week’s event is just two points.  He easily could make that up in the qualifying phase.

            Still, it would be nice to lock up one of the 10 starting spots in the Countdown to the Championship before the final regular season event. 

            “There’s still time (to turn the season around),” Torrence said, “but there’s less and less margin for error.  We need to do some good at these next two races so it doesn’t come down to Indy (and the 61st annual Chevrolet U.S. Nationals, last event in the regular season).”


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