Sets Track Record in Advance of Sunday’s Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals

October 16, 2021 -- Steve Torrence and his “Capco Boys” had an answer Saturday for Brittany Force and Mike Salinas in qualifying for the 20th Thunder Valley NHRA Nationals at Bristol Dragway.

The three-time reigning Camping World Top Fuel Champion guided his Capco Contractors dragster through the 1,000-foot course in a track record 3.667 seconds at 331.28 miles per hour to grab the No. 1 starting position for Sunday eliminations in the fifth of seven races in the NHRA’s Countdown to the Championship.

Although the 38-year-old Torrence has led the points for all but two races in his ongoing bid to become just the seventh driver in NHRA pro history to win as many as four consecutive championships, Saturday marked the first time in the last 11 events that a Top Fuel driver other than Force or Salinas had secured the No. 1 starting spot.

In qualifying at the top for the 31st time in his career and for the fourth time this season, the talented Texan set the stage for a possible final round showdown with either Salinas, who qualified second at 3.668, or Force, who was third at 3.672 seconds with a track record finish line speed of 333.58 mph.

“Never count out these Capco boys,” Torrence said of Saturday’s performance.  “We’ve been just a tick behind on the performance meter for a few races but that should give them something to think about.  Hats off to Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana and the best crew in drag racing.”

Dad Billy Torrence, founder and CEO of Capco Contractors and driver of the second Top Fuel car sponsored by the Texas-based oil-and-gas pipeline service company, also thrust himself into the mix with a time of 3.672 that, because of a slower speed, placed him fourth in the final order, setting up a potential all-Capco semifinal.

Although he’s won every race in the series at least one time in his career, Torrence hasn’t won at Bristol in seven years (2013).  That represents the longest he’s been shut out of the winners’ circle at any current race on the Camping World tour.

He will face No. 14 qualifier Cameron Ferre of Huntington Beach, Calif., in Sunday’s opening round.  As the No. 4 qualifier in a short field of 14, Billy Torrence will oppose Doug Kalitta in round one.

Television coverage of the Thunder Valley Nationals will air on FS1 beginning at 1 p.m., Texas time, Sunday.


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