TORRENCE STUMBLES AT 4WIDE NATIONALS
Texan Remains Third in Mello Yello Top Fuel Points
April 13, 2014 -- The streak ran out Sunday for Steve Torrence whose string of consecutive semifinal appearances in the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster ended at four with a first round exit from the fifth annual NHRA 4Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway.
Despite the stumble, the former Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion managed to get out of town with his Mello Yello title bid still intact.
He remained third in driver points even though he lost some ground to event winner Antron Brown and point leader Doug Kalitta, both of whom reached the final quad on Sunday.
Nevertheless, he’ll have a “home game” in which to try and make up that deficit when the tour moves to Royal Purple Raceway outside Houston for the April 25-27 O’Reilly Spring Nationals.
In the unique format that is the 4Wide Nationals, two of four drivers in each “quad” move on to the next round. It’s a set-up that Torrence didn’t like before Sunday and likes even less now.
“It’s hard enough to beat one guy next to you,” Torrence said, “but to have to beat three each round, that’s tough. We had a good car. It just wasn’t good enough to advance. It’s frustrating, but we’ll tune it up and get ready for Houston.”
After qualifying eighth, Torrence found himself in a first round quad with reigning series champion Shawn Langdon, veteran Terry McMillen and two-time reigning 4Wide champion Spencer Massey.
Langdon got one spot with a 1,000 foot time of 3.791 seconds and Massey got the other at 3.840 seconds. Torrence was close at 3.860, far ahead of McMillen, but it still was no cigar.
“It’s not horseshoes,” he said. “Close doesn’t cut it. I’m just glad we’re done with the four-wide for another year and we can go back to real racing in Houston.”
Although he hasn’t won before at the Houston track, he did go to the semifinals at the 2012 Spring Nationals and he shares the track record (3.772 seconds) with Morgan Lucas.
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