TORRENCE SEES IMPROVED PERFORMANCE AHEAD AT TOPEKA
May 15, 2013 -- Steve Torrence sent the drag racing fans at Heartland Park Topeka home last year talking about his unusual second-round race.
This time around in the 25th Kansas Nationals, he would rather be discussing how enthusiastic he is about new crew chief Lee Beard and “the breath of fresh air Lee brought to the Torrence Racing/Capco Contractors Inc. Top Fuel team,” commented Torrence.
Beard joined the team in Atlanta, just in time for the completion of Saturday’s rain-delayed Southern Nationals
“We qualified at Atlanta and had a decent run in the first round of eliminations,” continued Torrence, who lost to Spenser Massey. “It was a close race. We really needed that.
“Lee will have had a week to get to know everyone on the team and prepare for Topeka. He has been through this before, and I know I will have a good car to drive. He has 54 career race wins as a crew chief and we’d like to make that 55 on Sunday.”
Torrence was coming off his first Top Fuel victory last year when he arrived in Topeka for the NHRA Kansas Nationals hoping to turn that into a winning streak.
He did accomplish a portion of the goal when he won the first round of eliminations before things went awry.
On his next lap, he experienced a weird, wild and whacky ride that might have been the first of its kind. Here is a description of the lap against David Grubnic that was culled from the archives of Drag Race Central.com:
“Torrence is out of the gate first, but then the engine let go with a big fireball. Oil got under his rear tire and he got sideways and then crossed the center line and took out the 330-foot cones.”
Yes, he was sideways, but he did an astounding job at the controls as the 25-foot race car was sliding and averted any other mishaps. Amazingly, the car bounced out of the slide and onto the track with the tires pointed toward the finish line.
“You should have been inside the car with me to see it all,” Torrence commented. “It was one for the TV highlight reels. One I never want to do again.”
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