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


CAPCO Driver a Step Closer to Clinching Playoff Berth

August 9, 2015 -- Although he lost another narrow decision to eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher, Steve Torrence moved a step closer to clinching a berth in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship during Sunday’s 28th annual NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceways, last of the three races in the arduous Western Swing.

A first round victory over track speed record holder Spencer Massey, coupled with the early Sunday exit of playoff hopefuls Dave Connolly and Clay Millican, sends the driver of the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to Brainerd, Minn., with a little breathing room in his bid to earn another shot at the $500,000 Mello Yello Championship.

It was the third meeting in as many weeks between Torrence and Schumacher and it followed the previous script perfectly.  After Torrence won by .001 of a second at Denver, Colo., and Schumacher prevailed by .011 at Sonoma, Calif., the rubber match was almost a runaway with Schumacher turning a slight starting line advantage into a .018 of a second victory.

“I hate to lose those close ones,” Torrence said, “because you always think that if you had done something just a little better, it would’ve been different.  On the positive side, when you run that guy three straight weeks and the biggest margin is (.018), you can’t feel too bad. 

“My guys are on it right now.  We didn’t have one of our better qualifying performances (starting from No. 10), but Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana made the right adjustments on race day and put us right back in the ball game.”

Ironically, while Torrence extended his lead over the drivers trying to get past him and into the Top 10, he lost two positions in his ongoing battle with former world champion Shawn Langdon, former rookie of the year Brittany Force and veteran J.R. Todd for the seventh, eighth, ninth and tenth starting positions.

When racing begins August 16 in the 30th annual Lucas Oil Nationals, Torrence will trail Force by 16 points, Massey by 20 and Langdon by 37. 

“Obviously, we’ve still got some work to do,” said the 32-year-old cancer survivor.  “It’s so competitive in Top Fuel.  The points get shuffled every week and there’s no reason to think that’s going to change before we get to the Countdown.’

A five-time Top Fuel winner and the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion, Torrence has made the three quickest runs of his career this season (3.732 at Sonoma, Calif., 3.7324 at Chicago, Ill., and 3.751 at Pomona, Calif.).


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