Mello Yello Champ Hopes to Win This One for Dad

June 12, 2019 -- Last week, Steve Torrence won a race against his dad.  This week, he tries to win one for him on a Father’s Day weekend on which the elder Torrence is managing the family business while his son is racing solo in the 19th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

“This is a family team supported by a family business,” Torrence said in acknowledging the support of Capco Contractors, Inc., the pipeline construction and maintenance business founded by his dad in 1995.  “My dad races when he can, but this is a busy time of year for pipeliners.”

In fact, Torrence will fly home as quickly as possible Sunday to address his own responsibilities at the Henderson, Texas-based business at which he spends his weekdays bidding jobs and entertaining clients.

“We don’t make money drag racing,” Torrence said.  “We do it because we love it and I think that’s what this sport was built on.  What it’s all about is die-hard fans, people that want to work on their car in the garage and then bring it out to the track on weekends and race it and feel like they can relate to what we’re doing.

“That’s how my dad started,” said the 36-year-old cancer survivor.  “I grew up watching him race sportsman cars (in Super Gas, Super Comp and Competition Eliminator) and that’s how I learned to love the sport.  Drag racing was always something we did as a family.”

Torrence has taken the passion he inherited from his dad to new heights at the wheel of a 10,000 horsepower dragster tuned by crew chiefs Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr., a car in which he beat his dad to the finish line by a mere .008 of a second in last week’s Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Topeka, Kan.  Theirs was just the second NHRA Top Fuel final between a father and his son.

That represented his fifth straight tour victory this season, his 11th in the last 16 races, and it enabled him to open up a massive lead in his bid for a second straight Mello Yello Championship.

“I’ve got a really good team; a really good group of guys,” Torrence admitted.  “They are the reason for the success that we have.  When you see teams that go out and do well and continually win, it’s guys that have been together for years and they just work well together.  That’s what we have. 

“It’s an exceptional group,” he continued, “(and) it’s been an awesome ride even if we were to quit today.”

To the dismay of rivals, though, Torrence isn’t seriously considering retirement.  He’s having way too much fun. 

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