Texan Depends On ‘Quickly Consistent’ CAPCO/RIO Dragster

May 31, 2016 -- No Top Fuel driver has been more quickly consistent this season than Steve Torrence.  Nevertheless, on the eve of this week’s fourth annual NHRA New England Nationals, the talented Texan has but a single Mello Yello tour victory to show for the near flawless performance of his Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition dragster.

Torrence has rolled his 10,000 horsepower hot rod to the starting line 48 times this season and, on 45 of those occasions, has needed to deploy both his massive braking parachutes to help slow him down from 300-plus miles per hour in a process that subjects his body to five negative Gs. 

On the 45 runs he has completed under full power, the 33-year-old cancer survivor has averaged 3.783 seconds.  He’s made 32 of those trips in fewer than 3.800 seconds and 16 times his Capco/Rio hybrid has been quickest dragster of the session in qualifying or quickest of the round in competition. 

As a result, he returns to New England Dragway, a track on which he has yet to win a competitive round, brimming with confidence and riding a streak of 21 consecutive 1,000 foot sprints without a major mechanical failure or loss of traction (that’s 21 straight runs of 3.864 or quicker).. 

It’s a remarkable statistic considering all the moving parts in a Top Fuel dragster and apt testimony to the skill of a crew anchored by crew chief Richard Hogan, car chief Bobby Lagana and tuning consultant Alan Johnson.  Not even the fact that he has lost races at 3.810, 3.840, 3.772, 3.781 and 3.851 seconds is cause for concern in Torrence’s estimation.

“To me, that just shows that we’re one of the elite teams,” he said.  “We’re not going to sneak up on anybody any more.  They all know what we can do and that’s why we get their best.  Wouldn’t have it any other way.  Being out here as a family team racing against the best in the world is an awesome deal.  We know we can win on any given week and that’s why I’m not worried about what we’ve done in the past, whether it’s at Epping or anywhere else.”

The No. 1 qualifier at half the races contested this season, Torrence hasn’t won since a dominating performance in the season-opening Circle K Winternationals at Pomona, Calif.  Nevertheless, he starts this week in fourth place in Mello Yello points, still well-positioned to make a title run in the Countdown to the Championship beginning in September.

“I know my crew is going to put a great car under me this weekend and that’s a confidence builder,” Torrence said, “plus I know this Morgan Lucas Racing chassis is going to go A to B.  We’ve got four-in-a-row here so getting off to a good start is a big deal.”



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