Second Round Exit Disappointing After No. 2 Start

July 10, 2016 -- Steve Torrence’s second round exit from Sunday’s 19th annual K&N Filters Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway left the talented Texan once more pondering what might have been.

The 33-year-old’s Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition Top Fuel dragster performed pretty much as he and his team expected in round two, negotiating the 1,000 foot course just as quickly as it had in the first round in 3.786 seconds, the third quickest time of the entire round.

Unfortunately, rival J.R. Todd threw up a 3.771, quickest of the round and good enough to get the win light. 

“When your car runs like that, you don’t expect to be going home early,” Torrence said, a reference to the fact that his 10,000 horsepower dragster qualified second and didn’t make a run all weekend slower than 3.786 seconds.  He snatched up nine qualifying bonus points, just three shy of the maximum possible, by putting up the quickest time in three of the four qualifying sessions.  Unfortunately, he couldn’t translate qualifying performance into race day success.

“Some days you win running 4-flat and some days you lose running 3.70,” lamented the seven-time Top Fuel winner.  “This sport can be pretty frustrating.”

Nevertheless, it wasn’t a wasted weekend for the 2005 Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion who was returning to competition after missing the previous event.  Recovery from a routine medical procedure precluded his participation in the 10th annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Norwalk, Ohio, but he showed no ill effects at Route 66.

In fact, he performed as if he never had been away with times of 3.765, 3.748, 3.777, 3.732, 3.786 and 3.786 seconds and a best finish line speed of 327.03 miles per hour.

Moreover, despite Sunday’s result, Torrence will move on to Denver, Colo., in two weeks for the start of the critical Western Swing in third place in Mello Yello points behind Doug Kalitta and reigning series champion Antron Brown.

“We know we have a fast hot rod,” Torrence said, “but there are a lot fast cars.  Maybe there was a time when we could sneak up on someone and get an easy win, but not anymore.  We know we’re gonna get everybody’s best and we wouldn’t have it any other way.  We have a car that can win any weekend and there’ll be some chances for pay back down the road.”


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