CAPCO CONTRACTORS/RIO Dragster Sets Denver Record

July 23, 2016 -- Steve Torrence extended his mastery of Bandimere Speedway’s rarified air Saturday and will start his Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition dragster from the No. 1 qualifying position Sunday in defense of the Top Fuel title in the 37th annual Mopar Mile-High Nationals.

The 33-year-old Texan turned in an overpowering performance in qualifying and for the second time this season was quickest in all four sessions.  His best run of 3.766 seconds at 325.14 miles per hour was a track record.  In his last three appearances at the Mile-High Nationals, the former Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion has been quickest in seven of 12 qualifying rounds and has been third or better in 11 of 12.

 "(Richard Hogan) is the ‘King of the Mountain,’” an elated Torrence said of his crew chief.  “He's a Mack truck (and) I'm the bulldog on the front."

It was his personal best seventh No. 1 this season.  It also was his second No. 1 in three years at Denver.  Coming into the season, he had qualified No. 1 just five times in four years.

In gobbling up all 12 qualifying bonus points, Torrence ran his total for the year to 83.  That’s 29 more than the driver with the second highest total (Doug Kalitta), a statistic made the more remarkable by the fact that he missed one race (at Norwalk, Ohio) following a medical procedure. 

"It seems like my whole team has a good handle on the mountain,” Torrence said. “It’s good to come here and have the confidence going into the weekend.  This place is so much different than everywhere else we race.  The track is unbelievable; it always is here."

A two-time tour winner this year, Torrence will try on Sunday to win the same race in back-to-back years for the first time in his pro career.  He will start the day in third place in Mello Yello points behind reigning series champ Antron Brown and Kalitta.

This season, Torrence has posted the quickest time in 22 of the 51 qualifying rounds in which he has participated.  He and Kalitta are the only two Top Fuel drivers to have earned at least one qualifying bonus point in every race they have run. 

Sunday’s semifinal and final rounds will be televised live on the FOX national TV network starting at 2 p.m. Central time.  Torrence will oppose Chris Karamesines in Sunday’s first round with a potential second round meeting with either Kalitta or eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher.


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