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Steve Torrence
Driver, Torrence Racing Top Fuel dragster
National Hot Rod Association – Top Fuel Class

Steve Torrence

At the age of 15, Steve Torrence was driving a 160 mph racecar before most of his friends could even drive down a city street.  A strong desire to follow in his father's footsteps motivated Steve to do well in drag racing, a sport that would play a key role in the rest of his life.

Steve's first year of racing went well, finishing 7th in regional competition. Steve's natural talent behind the wheel didn't go unnoticed as he was named the 1999 South Central Division Rookie-of-the-Year.

A bright and promising future in racing had to be put on hold in 2000 however, after Steve was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma (a form of cancer most commonly found in males age 17-25). After months in the hospital, receiving both chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Steve was able to overcome the disease.  Steve considers it "The greatest victory I have ever won."

Steve returned to drag racing the following year, and raced in the amateur division until moving up to the semi-professional category in 2005. Success would once again come quickly for Steve, winning a staggering nine times in only 13 races. The stellar season earned Steve his first world championship, becoming the youngest Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion in class history.  He was also named the South Central Division Driver-of-the-Year.

At the age of 22, and with a world title under his belt, it was time for Steve to move into the professional ranks. In 2006 Steve got his chance, driving Dexter Tuttle's Top Fuel dragster (arguably the most prestigious category in drag racing). Torrence and Tuttle enjoyed increasing success year after year, with 2010 marking the highpoint as Steve earned his first professional top-ten finish (placing 8th in the final points standings). 

In 2011, Steve made the difficult decision to leave Tuttle Motorsports in order to pursue a lifelong goal of starting a family owned Top Fuel team. Torrence Racing is the realization of that dream. 


Richard Hogan

Richard Hogan
Crew Chief, Torrence Racing Top Fuel dragster
National Hot Rod Association – Top Fuel Class

When Steve Torrence needed someone to guide the future of the Torrence family’s new Top Fuel dragster team, he chose veteran crew chief Richard Hogan.

Hogan, like Torrence, grew up in a drag racing family and plans to use the mechanical expertise he has gleaned from a number of savvy drivers and crew chiefs over the past 30 years to field a competitive race car in NHRA’s Mello-Yello Series.

“I was always around racing,” said Hogan, who grew up in St. Petersburg, Fla.  “My dad probably started racing in the early 1950s.  I’ve known (drag racing icon) Don Garlits since I was a kid, and I ended up going to work for him as a crew member in the early 1980s.

“We ran very well in those early years with Garlits.  I learned a lot from him.  I didn’t go to races all the time, but I went to a big percentage of them.”

Hogan was at the forefront of the Torrence Racing team’s genesis, ordering everything from parts, pieces, nuts and bolts to tires and tools, and then waited patiently for the merchandise to arrive.

“This wasn’t the first time I did this,” he recalled.  “I worked at Don Schumacher racing and we put a car together for Melanie Troxel in 2005, but we were able to do it quickly because it was for a multi-car team and the parts were readily available.  We just don’t have those resources being a one-car team.

“Over the years, I have met a lot of real good drivers and tuners, and I just picked up (the knowledge) as I went. Those included Garlits, Dale Armstrong, Alan Johnson, John Mitchell, Jim Brissett, Larry Frazier, Bob Noice, Terry Major, Wes Cerny and Walt Austin. Some of those guys you just don’t hear about, but they were all really sharp." 

“In the old days, we said ‘well, we’ll just put some more nitro (methane fuel) in it and make it run.  Now you really have to pay more attention to be competitive.”


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