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TORRENCE LOSES ANOTHER CLOSE ONE
Capco Driver Out Early at Gatornationals

March 15, 2015 -- A struggle during qualifying for the 46th annual Amalie Oil Gatornationals led to an uncharacteristically early exit Sunday for Steve Torrence and the Texas-based Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster.

            “The track was pretty challenging,” Torrence said of the concrete-and-asphalt surface at Auto-Plus Raceway at Gainesville.  “We didn’t get down on our first two (qualifying) runs and that put us way behind.  We made a good run in Q3 (3.843 seconds at 320.81 miles per hour) but then we stumbled again in Q4.”

            After qualifying ninth and giving up the lane choice option, the 31-year-old cancer survivor grabbed a .022 of a second starting line advantage over 2014 NHRA Rookie-of-the-Year Richie Crampton before losing by less than a car length, 3.783 seconds at 320.85 mph to 3.859, 321.81 mph.

            It was a disappointing, but certainly not catastrophic result for the talented Texan, who fell from seventh to 10th in Mello Yello points three races into the season.  He’ll try to make up ground on his championship rivals when the tour moves to Charlotte, N.C., March 27-29, for the sixth annual NHRA 4Wide Nationals.

            The 2005 NHRA Champion in the Top Alcohol Dragster class, Torrence has won four times since moving up to Top Fuel on a full-time basis in 2010.  Even though he went without a Mello Yello tour victory last season, he still finished seventh in points and was in title contention until Tony Schumacher got hot in the Countdown to the Championship.

            On Sunday, Schumacher had to settle for second place, losing to teammate Spencer Massey in the Top Fuel finals.

 

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