World Champion Starts Just Ahead of His Dad in Bid for 5th Straight Win

June 8, 2019 -- Steve Torrence showed no signs of loosening his grip on Top Fuel drag racing Saturday, claiming the No. 1 qualifying position for Sunday’s 31st annual Menard’s NHRA Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.

Torrence drove the Capco Contractors dragster through the 1,000 foot course in 3.760 seconds at 325.45 miles per hour during Friday’s second qualifying session.  No one approached those numbers Saturday although Torrence was quickest of the day at 3.833.  The 36-year-old Texan will be trying to extend his current winning streak to five straight races when he opposes Terry Totten in Sunday's first round.

The reigning world champion’s dad, Billy Torrence, qualified second in the other Capco hybrid with a time of 3.765 seconds.

It’s the third 1-2 start in the last year for the father and son team from Kilgore, Texas and it sets up the potential once more of an all-Capco final round.  Billy Torrence, the Capco founder and CEO who races with his son whenever he can, is a two-time Top Fuel winner.  He also has won in the Super Comp class.

The younger Torrence, who works at Capco during the week bidding pipeline construction and maintenance jobs, has won 10 of the last 15 races in the Mello Yello series dating back to last September.  He and his dad have raced each other five times, but not yet in a final round.  

On a track on which most of his rivals seemed to struggle, Torrence was almost perfect.  He was quickest in three of the four sessions, a performance that earned him 11 qualifying bonus points, one shy of the maximum and his best effort of the year.

Although this will be his 21st No. 1 start since turning pro, it’s his first at Heartland Park which becomes the 14th different track on which he has been No. 1.  Ironically, he’s won only three races as the quickest qualifier.  The bulk of his 31 tour victories (10) have come from the No. 2 starting spot.

If Torrence advances out of the first round as expected, he will earn a bye into the semifinals.  Billy Torrence will oppose Scandanavian champion Lex Joon in his first round match.  Joon is making his first start on the American pro tour.

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