For the first time in many months, Steve Torrence was able to wear a big smile Sunday when he left Bristol Dragway. He was savoring his exciting victory in the Thunder Valley Nationals after dispatching four tough Top Fuel opponents. The triumph, which also boosted him into ninth place in important Mello Yello Series points standing, emphasized the remarkable comeback of his Torrence Racing/Capco Contractors Inc. team since crew chief Lee Beard came on board three races ago.
Torrence put together four consistent 3.8-second runs, including a 3.871-second, 320.13 mph 1,000-foot lap to nip Spencer Massey’s 3.894 at 317.19 by about seven feet in the championship round. It was Torrence’s fourth career triumph in six finals. He had a total of only three round wins in the previous nine 2013 races.
“It was a good weekend, and we had a little luck on our side as well,” commented Torrence. “Consistency was the key on a hot track . . . and we had a very good car that kept going down the track. We were very happy go get into the top 10. We also qualified for the (special) Traxxus Top Fuel race and it was a good Father’s Day for my dad Billy.”
Torrence began eliminations by stopping Leah Pruett, 3.833 at 320.05 to 4.261 at 240.60. He then beat Shawn Langdon, 3.856 at 319.22 to 4.202 at 308.85 before stopping Clay Millican in the semifinals, 3.892 at 314.39 to 4.410 at 195.59.
“I have been racing Spencer for a long time,” said Torrence. “We are both from Texas and we have raced each other in Super Comp and Top Alcohol Dragster (categories), and know I have to be on top of my game to beat him. This win gives us a lot of confidence and a moral boost to get us ready for our race next week at Epping, NH.”