CAPCO Driver Sets the Pace at Houston at 3.724, 329 MPH

April 30, 2016 -- Racing in his home state in front of a partisan crown at Royal Purple Raceway, Steve Torrence didn’t disappoint Saturday, directing his Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition Top Fuel dragster to a best 1,000 foot time of 3.724 seconds at 329.42 miles per hour to lock up the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s 29th annual NHRA SpringNationals.

            It was the third straight No. 1 for the former NHRA Top Alcohol World Champion, the fourth in six races this season and the second in the last three years at Royal Purple Racing, where he was a SpringNationals semifinalist in 2014.
“Houston is one of the racetracks I get to call home,” said the 33-year-old, who has overcome Hodgkins lymphoma to emerge as one of the tour’s most consistent drivers.  “It is really gratifying to be able to run well in front of the home town crowd and all the friends and family I’ve grown up racing with.  I just have a lot of support here.”
The last time a Top Fuel driver qualified at the front in three straight NHRA tour events was 2012 when Shawn Langdon qualified No. 1 at Indianapolis, Ind., Charlotte, N.C. and Dallas, Texas.  Significantly, Langdon’s car owner at the time was Alan Johnson, currently a tuning consultant to Torrence and crew chief Richard Hogan.

Although he started the season by winning the Circle K Winternationals as the No. 1 qualifier, he hasn’t been able to turn qualifying performance into race day success since, losing in the first round as the No. 1 qualifier at Las Vegas and in the second round after qualifying No. 1 in the NHRA 4Wide Nationals last week at Charlotte, N.C.

He’ll launch his bid for the SpringNationals title in a first round duel with No. 16 qualifier Rob Passey of Salt Lake City, Utah with a potential second round match with eight-time Top Fuel World Champion Tony Schumacher.

Torrence’s qualifying effort this season has been amazing.  In 23 pro qualifying sessions, the Texas businessman has been one of the three quickest 15 times.  At Houston, he earned points in each of the four sessions for the second time this year.

“With all the rain they’ve had, the (racing) groove is pretty narrow,” Torrence said, “and there’s a big bump in the right lane just before the lights.  So the driver is going to have to be on his game Sunday.  Winning at home would be a huge deal for us.”



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