Capco Teammates Raced in Top Fuel Final in Last Race at Heartland Park

August 12, 2021 -- The last time they raced together at Heartland Park, Capco Contractors teammates Steve and Billy Torrence made history as just the second father-and-son (after Connie and Scott Kalitta) to oppose one another in an NHRA Top Fuel final and the first to do so from the No. 1 and No. 2 qualifying positions.

Although he qualified second, Billy got the starting line advantage in the final with an .059 reaction time only to have Steve beat him to the finish by .008 of a second with a narrow 3.750-3.768 second edge in performance.

Two years, a couple months and one pandemic later, they’ll compete again this week in the 32nd Menard’s Nationals and, despite his son’s complete dominance of the Camping World pro tour the last five seasons, a period during which he has won 38 times, it is the elder Torrence who is attracting much of the pre-race attention.

That’s because while Steve was winning two of the three July races comprising the NHRA’s Western Swing, Billy was taking a break from pro racing to hone his driving skills at the wheel of a Capco-sponsored Super Comp dragster.

 In fact, on the very weekend that the younger Torrence was winning the NHRA Sonoma Nationals in California’s wine country (July 23-25), his dad was wading through a field of more than 100 to win a Lucas Oil Series divisional at Heartland Park during which his average reaction time for seven rounds was a miniscule .014 of a second.

“He’ll definitely be hard to beat,” Torrence said of his dad, “but you can’t help but feel confident going up there with this car with Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana and the Capco Boys behind you.”

Indeed, Torrence has won six of the 10 races contested thus far this season and, as a result, has opened a 313-point lead over the field with just three events remaining before the points are adjusted for the Countdown to the Championship.  Although he opted out of three races, Billy currently is eighth in points.

Despite the fact that the younger Torrence is trying to become just the seventh pro driver in history to win as many as four consecutive championships, the rivalry between father and son is quite real and pre-dates their ascension to Top Fuel.

Both are former NHRA South Central Division sportsman champions (Billy in Super Comp in 1999; Steve in Top Alcohol Dragster in 2005) and both were born with a shared competitiveness that extends to virtually everything. 

“It’s always better racing with my dad,” Steve said, “It’s something we’ve always done as a family, Momma Kay, my dad and me, and now that the family has grown (with his 2020 marriage to Natalie Jahnke and the birth last May of their daughter, Charli), it’s that much more special that we can do this together.”

A two-time national event winner in Super Comp before he started driving Top Fuel dragsters, the elder Torrence has won seven times as a pro, most recently at the June 13 TascaParts.com Nationals at Epping, N.H.

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