Runner-Up Finish in Vegas Four-Wide Sends Champ Back to the Top

April 3, 2022 -- On the weekend of daughter Charli’s first birthday, four-time reigning Top Fuel world champion Steve Torrence surged back into the points lead Sunday with a statement performance in the fourth NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.

The “Quad King” didn’t get the unprecedented seventh career four-wide trophy he was seeking but, as runner-up to national record-holder Brittany Force, he demonstrated that his “Drive for Five” is still very much alive.

Despite the fact that though Force ran quick time and top speed of the meet in the final round, the margin at the finish line was a razor thin .012 of a second.

As a result, when the tour moves to Houston Raceway Park later this month for the 35th and final NHRA Spring Nationals, Torrence will lead Force by four points in his bid to become just the fourth pro driver in NHRA history to win as many as five consecutive titles.

“We’ve been working on some things,” said the 51-time tour winner.  “You can’t just stand still in this sport.  You do that and they’ll just run over you.  ‘Hoagie’ (crew chief Richard Hogan), Bobby (Lagana Jr.) and these ‘Capco Boys,’ they’re trying to stay ahead of the curve and I think we took a big step today.”

Although he qualified only seventh after being forced to abort two of four attempts when his Capco Contractors machine inexplicably lost traction, Torrence won his opening quad with a time of 3.720 which, until the final, was the best of the race. 

“It’s not easy to win out here,” he said.  “Look at that final!  You pull up and there’s Tony (Schumacher, the eight-time former champion), Antron (Brown, a three-time former champ) and Brittany (the last champion before Torrence).  And then you have Mike Salinas, who’s already won this year, Justin (Ashley), Josh Hart, Austin Prock, Leah (Pruett) and you can never forget Doug Kalitta.  This is as competitive as this class has ever been – and that’s exciting.  That’s what you want – to compete at the highest level against the best there is.”

# # #