Four-Time Top Fuel World Champ Settles for No. 6 Finish After Early Exit

November 13, 2022 -- Steve Torrence’s bid to extend his lengthy World Championship winning streak came to an abrupt end Sunday when the 39-year-old Texan and his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster were upended in the opening round of the 57th Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway.

The loss to No. 15 qualifier Ron August Jr. ended the 53-time tour winner’s quest for an historic fifth straight series championship and relegated him to the No. 6 position in the final Camping World tour standings behind champion Brittany Force.

The No. 2 qualifier after accelerating his Top Fuel Toyota to a career best time of 3.647 seconds at a finish line speed of 333.33 miles per hour on Saturday, Torrence began the day with at least a mathematical shot at successfully defending his championship.

However, after grabbing a .032 of a second starting line advantage in the first round, any fleeting hope of claiming the title evaporated in a cloud of tire smoke as August raced past him for the win. 

 “Very frustrating way to end it,” Torrence said, “but it’s kinda how this season’s been.  I’m just glad to get it over with.  I’m looking forward to some time away from racing with my family, re-energizing and then getting back after ‘em next year. 

“With the challenges we’ve had with this new (engine/clutch) set-up, I couldn’t be more proud of these Capco Boys for keeping us in the game right up to the end,” said the only drag racer to have won NHRA series championships in both the Top Alcohol and Top Fuel divisions.

“I think we just experimented too long and dug ourselves such a big hole that we couldn’t dig out,” he said, “but I don’t want to take anything away from Brittany and Grubby (crew chief David Grubnic) and that team.  They were bad to the bone all season and deserved to win it all.”

Torrence and Force now have won the last six Camping World Top Fuel championships.  The last Top Fuel champion with a different surname was Antron Brown, who won his third series title in 2016.

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