Point Leader Goes to ‘School’ in Advance of the Countdown

July 31, 2018 -- It’s a down-and-dirty weekend for Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence who after a misstep last week at Sonoma, Calif., tuned up for this week’s 31st annual Cat Spot Northwest Nationals, last of the three races comprising the NHRA’s arduous Western Swing, with a trek off the concrete-and-asphalt and into the gravel-and-mud with close friend Antron Brown.

The principals in Chocolate-and-Crème Racing took advantage of their proximity to DirtFish Rally School to polish their car control skills at the wheel of a couple of turbocharged 4-cylinder Subaru Impreza STIs that represent a night-and-day difference from the 10,000 horsepower dragsters in which they will compete this weekend.

Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains in scenic Snoqualmie, DirtFish is considered North America’s premier rally school, the perfect place for Torrence and Brown to refresh the skills they developed last March when they raced a Polaris RZR in the Mint 400 off-road classic in the Nevada desert.

“It’s fun,” acknowledged the 31-year-old Torrence,, “and a good change of pace from the grind of the Western Swing.  We really had fun at the Mint 400 and (off road racing) is something we both promised to do again.  This was just a chance to keep ourselves sharp.”

The experience now behind them, though, Torrence and Brown return to reality Friday with the start of qualifying in an event both have won previously.

“Running well (at Seattle) is a big deal because we need to start setting up for the Countdown,” Torrence said.  “We need to keep the pressure on.  The NHRA is gonna adjust the points after Indy and that’s gonna wipe out any big lead we might have or anyone else might have, but you still need to go into the Countdown with momentum.”

Winner of 21 tour events at the wheel of a series of Capco  Contractors Top Fuel dragsters, Torrence is trying to become the first driver in NHRA history to win series championships in both the Alcohol and Fuel categories. 

“I’m just glad we’re back racing this week,” Torrence said.  “I’m anxious to get back in the car and put us back in the winners’ circle.”

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