Three-Time Reigning World Champ Secures Eighth Win of the Season

September 5, 2021 -- Steve Torrence added his name to the list of drivers with multiple victories in the world’s oldest, largest and most prestigious drag race Sunday, beating No. 1 qualifier Brittany Force in the final round to win the Top Fuel title at the 67th annual Dodge SRT U.S. Nationals at Lucas Oil Raceway.

“This is Indy,” gushed an emotional Torrence after winning for the 40th time in his last 90 starts on the NHRA Camping World tour.  “It’s the ultimate for a drag racer and to just have the opportunity to race at the top levels of this sport is such a privilege. 

“That’s a great team Brittany has over there,” Torrence said, “and when you beat them, you know you’ve really accomplished something.  I want to thank everybody who’s been such a big part of our success, especially Mac Tools, Red Line Oil and everybody at Capco Contractors who works so hard to make it possible for us to stay out here and do what we do.

“And I want to give a shout out to all the service men and women and all the first responders,” he continued.  “Thank you for all you do.  We appreciate it.  Some people don’t, but we sure do.”

It was the eighth win of the season for the 38-year-old Texan who this week will start the playoffs from the spot he has occupied for most of the last five seasons: No. 1.  The three-time reigning series champion has led the points after 69 of the last 85 races contested including 12 of 13 so far this season.   

However, when qualifying begins Friday in the 36th Mopar Express Lane Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway near Reading, Pa., the 411-point lead with which he ended the abbreviated regular season will have been reduced to a mere 20 points for the playoffs.

Such is life in the era of pencil parity.

“It won’t change the way we do things,” Torrence said of the adjustment.  “We go out and try to win every race.  That’s what we’ve always done and I can’t wait to get started again.  When you have these Capco boys behind you, you know you’re gonna have a car that can win every week and the challenge is for me not to mess it up.”

As he has been content to do this year, Torrence settled in behind Force as the No. 2 qualifier at 3.688 seconds on the lone qualifying run before Mother Nature washed out the entire Saturday program. 

On Sunday, he beat close friend, former World Champion and U.S. Nationals champion Antron Brown in round one, dispatched Greg Carrillo in the second and won a family feud with his dad in the semifinals that would prove to be the closest race he had all day long (3.744 to 3.792).

Against Force, he grabbed a .020 starting line advantage that proved unnecessary when her Monster Energy dragster lost traction and then suffered an engine explosion.  It was another workmanlike performance for the sport’s No. 1 team.  Torrence’s times didn’t vary by more than .033 of a second and averaged 3.737.

With U.S. Nationals titles in 2017 and 2021 along with a Top Alcohol Dragster win in 2005, Torrence now moves on to the next challenge which is joining the list of six pro racers who have won as many as four consecutive series titles: Tony Schumacher in Top Fuel, John Force, Kenny Bernstein and Don Prudhomme in Funny Car; Bob Glidden and Lee Shepherd in Pro Stock.

# # #