Point Leader’s 3.675 Second Effort Good Enough for No. 1 Qualifier at St. Louis

September 22, 2018 -- Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence saved his best for last Saturday and took the Capco Contractors dragster straight to the top of the qualifying order at the 21st AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway Motorsports Park.

The 22-time Mello Yello tour winner stopped the timers in 3.675 seconds at 327.19 miles per hour on the last of his four qualifying attempts and, in so doing, secured the 19th No. 1 of his pro career, his third this season and his second at the Midwest Nationals, an event in which he also was No. 1 in 2015.

It was one of the 35-year-old Texan’s best qualifying efforts of the season.  Quickest in the final two sessions, he earned qualifying bonus points in all four sessions and added a total of nine points to his total going into Sunday eliminations.  The defending race champion will oppose Bill Litton in the first round.

“We let Clay (Millican) make up 10 points in qualifying last week (cutting the lead in half),” Torrence said.  “We came in here focused on making sure that didn’t happen this week.  They’ve got a real fast race car, but this Capco hot rod ain’t bad either.”

Torrence, who has won 14 tour events over the last two seasons, was third quickest in the first qualifying session Friday at 3.782 seconds.   He improved to 3.717 in the Friday evening session (second best to Millican) and then ran 3.708 in Saturday’s opener before unloading the 3.675 Saturday evening.

The 3.675 is his quickest since February when he ran 3.655 in qualifying for the Arizona Nationals at Phoenix. 

 Meanwhile, Billy Torrence, back behind the wheel of a second Capco Contractors entry in support of his son’s title bid, continued to impress with a No. 3 qualifying effort at 3.717 seconds.  He will oppose veteran Pat Dakin on Sunday.

“It doesn’t mean anything,” the younger Torrence said of the No. 1.  “Well, it means these Capco boys have really got it going on, but if we don’t execute tomorrow, it won’t mean anything on Monday, that’s for sure.”


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