TORRENCE SOLID TO THE SEMIS; HOPES FOR BREAKTHROUGH IN FLORIDA
Texas Driver Fourth in Mello Yello Points after First Two NHRA Tour Events
February 23, 2014 -- It was another “no cigar” weekend for Kilgore’s Steve Torrence, the 30-year old Top Fuel drag racing standout who for the second time in as many 2014 starts raced to within sight of the winners’ circle only to bow out in the semifinals, this time at the 30th annual CARQUEST Nationals.
The former Lucas Oil Top Alcohol Dragster champion will be looking for a little “live lucky” charm next month when racing for the Mello Yello championship resumes with the 45th running of the Amalie Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville, Fla.
Despite his disappointment Sunday, Torrence left Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in the knowledge that his Capco Contractors dragster is the equal of any hybrid currently on the circuit including the Al-Anabi dragsters of reigning series champion Shawn Langdon and Khalid alBalooshi.
Torrence will lead both of those drivers into Florida. In fact, he is just one point down to 2012 champion Antron Brown, who won Sunday’s race, and 36 points behind current leader Doug Kalitta. That’s the equivalent of two racing rounds.
Other than the semifinal stumble, it was another solid event for the four-time tour winner. After qualifying sixth at the season-opener in Pomona, Calif., earlier this month, he started third Sunday and recorded the quickest 1,000 foot time of the first round at 3.775 seconds, more than enough to dispatch fellow Texan Troy Buff.
Although the performance fell off ever so slightly in round two, it didn’t keep him from turning back former NHRA Rookie of the Year Spencer Massey, a Fort Worth native, with a time of 3.793 seconds and 319.98 miles per hour.
In the semifinals, though, despite the fact that he had his choice of lanes, Torrence’s dragster lost traction at halftrack and that allowed second year pro Brittany Force to get around him for the win.
“We’ve got a good race car,” Torrence admitted. “We just need a little of that Black Clover luck (a reference to one of his associate sponsors whose slogan is ‘live lucky’). We’ve run well before at Gainesville so we’re looking forward to that race and getting out our first win of the year.”
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