Texan Starts Sunday at Bristol as Point Leader

June 17, 2017 -- Steve Torrence, the hottest driver on the NHRA Mello Yello drag racing tour, showed no signs of cooling off Saturday at Bristol Dragway where he took advantage of cooling afternoon rain to grab the No. 1 qualifying positon for Sunday’s 17th annual Thunder Valley Nationals.

Coming off a victory last week at Englishtown, N.J., Torrence rode a wave of momentum to a 1,000 foot time of 3.772 seconds at 319.29 miles per hour Saturday to snatch No. 1 away from Doug Kalitta who, until the rain, appeared on his way to another pole with the 3.781 second time he recorded Friday evening. 

In claiming the 15th No. 1 of his pro career, his second straight at Bristol, Torrence moved into a tie with three-time and reigning Mello Yello Champion and close friend Antron Brown for the point lead.  Both will start the day with 914 points, 31 points ahead of third place Leah Pritchett.

A 34-year-old cancer survivor and former World Champion in the Top Alcohol Dragster class (2005), Torrence will start his Father’s Day against the oldest active competitor in any professional sport, 85-year-old Chris Karamesines of Chicago whom he last opposed in the first round of the Mopar Mile-Hgh Nationals last year at Denver, Colo.

Winner at Bristol in 2012, Torrence has been to the finals in five of the last six races in the series with wins at Charlotte, Atlanta and Englishtown.  He now has qualified eighth of quicker in 42 consecutive races going back to the 2015 season.  That’s the longest such streak in the category.



# # #