Texan Remains No. 3 in Points Heading Into

June 19, 2016 -- Steve Torrence ran his streak of consecutive races without a first round loss to seven Sunday but his bid to win a second straight Mello Yello tour event came up short at Bristol Dragway where he suffered a narrow second round loss to eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher in the 16th annual Thunder Valley Nationals.

It wasn’t the kind of Father’s Day the 33-year-old had anticipated after sending his Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition Top Fuel dragster to the No. 1 qualifying position for the sixth time in 11 races this year, but it did little to diminish his enthusiasm or his confidence as the series moves on to Norwalk, Ohio, this week for the last of four races in four weeks.

“Tony and I have a great rivalry,” Torrence said.  “I think we bring out the best in each other. We beat him last week for the win at Englishtown (N.J.) and he got one back today.  I’m sure it’s not the last time we’ll line up against each other this year.”

Torrence, who has two wins on the season and seven in his brief pro career, remained solidly in third place in points as neither of the drivers ahead of him – Doug Kalitta or Antron Brown, was able to advance to the final round.  He’ll start this week’s 10th Summit Racing Equipment Nationals 80 points behind Kalitta and 27 behind Brown. 

“I was hoping to get a Father’s Day win for my dad,” Torrence said.  “When we won here in 2013 on Father’s Day, he missed it.  We’ll just have to try to get it next year.”

Billy Torrence, founder and CEO of Capco Contractors and an occasional Top Fuel teammate to his son, already has a Super Comp victory to his credit this year.  He likely will join his son in Top Fuel after the start of the Countdown to the Championship in September.

The younger Torrence, who overcame Hodgkins lymphoma to win the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster world championship, beat journeyman Terry Haddock of Temple, Texas in round one with a 1,000 foot time of 3.835 seconds but lost lane choice to Schumacher, who laid down the best run in eliminations (3.794) in his first round win over J.R. Todd. 

Schumacher, who eventually would lose to teammate Shawn Langdon in the Top Fuel final, almost duplicated that low ET number in round two when he stopped the timers in 3.802 seconds to cover Torrence’s solid 3.835 at 320.97 miles per hour.


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