Steve Torrence Makes More History During Second Straight Title Run

January 2, 2020 -- Steve Torrence fell just short in his bid to become the first driver in NHRA Top Fuel drag racing history to win 30 races in 30 months, but the 36-year-old cancer survivor’s 2019 season added some significant achievements to his growing competitive portfolio.

Not only did he hoist the trophy after a second consecutive Mello Yello championship, joining an elite group of seven other Top Fuel drivers who have prevailed in back-to-back campaigns, he also became just the seventh driver, regardless of category, to win as many as 60 rounds of racing in a single season.

His 60-15 record over the course of the 24-race 2019 campaign made him just the third Top Fuel driver with 60-plus round wins in a season after Tony Schumacher, who reached that number in both 2004 and 2008, and Kenny Bernstein, who went 61-16 in 2001.

From April 30, 2017 through Oct. 30, 2019, 30 calendar months, Torrence drove his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster into the winners’ circle on 29 occasions.  No other Top Fuel or Funny Car driver has been more prolific. 

In fact, only four-time Pro Stock Champion Greg Anderson can boast more production over a similar time frame with 31 wins in a 30-month span from Feb. 23, 2003 through August 23, 2005.

Perhaps even more impressive than his singular success was the production of Team Capco as a whole.  That’s because Capco founder and CEO Billy Torrence made some history of his own as the first part-time pro to qualify for the Countdown, ultimately finishing fifth.

Although he raced in only 16 of 24 events overall, Billy Torrence advanced to six final rounds and won four races, two of them in the six-race Countdown to the Championship.  Ironically, it was his victory in an all-Capco final round at the AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at St. Louis that denied his son his 30th win in three years.

Significantly, there was at least one Capco car in the final round at 18 of the 24 events and, on two occasions, it was an all-Capco affair with Steve winning in Topeka, Kan., before Billy prevailed in St.  Louis.


Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster
2019 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Summary:
(LEGEND: Underlined figures indicate BEST PERFORMANCE OF THE EVENT; *indicates track record; **indicates NHRA national record)
Date      Event                                                            Site                      Qualify/Result      Performance              Standing

2-10       Lucas Oil Winternationals                              Pomona, CA        1st/Runner-Up      3.657/331.61       2nd
2-24       Magic Dry Arizona Nationals                         Phoenix, AZ         14th/1st Round      3.930/261.88       4th                
3-17       Amalie Gatornationals                                   Gainesville, FL    3rd/2nd Round       3.680/329.91       3rd              

4-07       Denso Four-Wide Nationals                          Las Vegas, NV     2nd/2nd Quad        3.721/327.59       3rd
4-14       Mopar Express Lane Spring Nationals          Houston, TX        2nd/Semifinalist    3.705/327.19       3rd                
4-28       NGK 4Wide Nationals                                   Charlotte, NC      6th/WINNER         3.743/327.43       1st                

5-05       Arby’s Southern Nationals                             Atlanta, GA          2nd/WINNER        3.727/328.46       1st
5-19       NHRA Virginia Nationals                               Richmond, Va.     4th/WINNER         3.773/325.14       1st  
6-02       NHRA Route 66 Nationals                             Chicago, IL          3rd/WINNER         3.741/329.34       1st

6-09       Menard’s Heartland Nationals                       Topeka, KS         1st/WINNER         3.721/329.83       1st                
6-16       NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals                   Bristol, TN           3rd/Runner-Up     3.768/326.00       1st
6-23       Summit Equipment Nationals                        Norwalk, OH        5th/WINNER         3.725/328.30       1st              

7-07       NHRA New England Nationals                      Epping, NH          9th/WINNER         3.756/328.62       1st
7-21       Dodge Mile-High Nationals                             Denver, CO         1st/WINNER         3.738/330.31^     1st
7-28       NHRA Sonoma Nationals                              Sonoma, CA        2nd/Semifinalist    3.717/325.85       1st

8-04       Cat Spot Northwest Nationals                       Seattle, WA         3rd/Runner-Up     3.705/328.46       1st
8-18       Lucas Oil Nationals                                       Brainerd, MN       2nd/2nd Round      3.738/328.70       1st                
9-02       Chevrolet U.S. Nationals                               Indianapolis, IN   3rd/2nd Round       3.656/331.12       1st                

Countdown to the Mello Yello Championship:
9-15       Mopar Express Lane Keystone Nationals      Reading, PA        8th/1st Round       3.697/330.15       3rd
9-29       AAA Midwest Nationals                                 St. Louis, MO      5th/Runner-Up     3.708/327.90       2nd  
10-13     NHRA Carolina Nationals                              Charlotte, NC       1st/WINNER         3.711/329.34       1st

10-20     AAA Texas Fall Nationals                              Dallas, TX            4th/1st Round       3.689/329.18       1st                
11-03     Dodge Nevada Nationals                              Las Vegas, NV     5th/Runner-Up     3.690/330.63       1st  
11-17     Auto Club Finals                                            Pomona, CA        1st/Semifinalist     3.686/329.99       1st


NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Most rounds won, single season

76       by Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, 2004 (76-8, 90.5%)
76       by Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel, 2008 (76-9, 88.1%)
67       by Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, 2003 (67-11, 85.9%)
65       by John Force, Funny Car, 1996 (65-6, 91.5%)
65       by Jason Line, Pro Stock, 2016 (65-16, 80.2%)
64       by Greg Anderson, Pro Stock, 2016 (64-16, 80.0%)
62       by Jeg Coughlin Jr., Pro Stock, 2000 (62-13, 82.6%)
61       by John Force, Funny Car, 1999 (61-11, 84.3%)
61       by Kenny Bernstein, Top Fuel, 2001 (61-16, 77.7%)
60       by Tony Schumacher, Top Fuel, 2004 (60-13, 82.2%) 
60       by Steve Torrence, Top Fuel, 2019 (60-15, 80.0%)


NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series
Top Fuel Drivers with Consecutive Series Championships

Don Garlits                                     1985-86
Joe Amato                                      1990-92
Scott Kalitta                                    1994-95
Gary Scelzi                                    1998-99
Larry Dixon                                    2002-03
Tony Schumacher                          2004-09
Antron Brown                                 2015-16
Steve Torrence                           2018-19

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