GREAT OUTDOORS TURNS ON TORRENCE
CAPCO Driver Shut Out at Brainerd International
August 21, 2016 -- An accomplished shooter and bow hunter, Steve Torrence loves the great outdoors. Unfortunately, the great outdoors didn’t love him back this week during his annual pilgrimage to Brainerd International Raceway.
First of all, the track sprawled in the middle of the Land of 10,000 Lakes was the site on Saturday of the delayed Top Fuel final round from Seattle, Wash., in which Torrence lost to reigning Mello Yello series champ Antron Brown when, despite the benefit of lane choice, his Capco Contractors/Rio Ammunition Top Fuel dragster lost traction, forcing him to abort the run.
Then, on Sunday, the track known for its Zoo, the adjacent campground that annually accommodates thousands of race fans, played host to the 35th annual Lucas Oil Nationals, again tossing Torrence nary a crumb as his hybrid hot rod suffered an engine misfire at the moment of acceleration that slowed it from its 3.699 qualifying pace to 3.855 seconds in a first round loss to Terry McMillen.
If anything good came of the weekend, it was that the 33-year-old Texan didn’t lose position in the point standings and will move on to Indianapolis, Ind., for the 62nd Labor Day weekend renewal of the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals in third place behind Brown and Doug Kalitta.
“Between the rain and the racing, it was kind of a miserable weekend,” acknowledged the former Top Alcohol Dragster World Champion (2005). “But you can’t dwell on that. You have to accept what happens and just move on. We’ll just congratulate Brittany (Force) on her win and go on to Indy knowing we’ve got a really good race car.”
A two-time winner this season and the national record holder for the 1,000 foot distance at 3.671 seconds, Torrence will have another “double-up” opportunity at Indy where he will vie for a $100,000 payday in the Traxxas Nitro Shootout on Saturday, two days before he again tries to win the U.S. Nationals after runner-up finishes in 2013 and 2014.
“It’s not just winning Indy, our biggest race,” explained the cancer survivor, “it’s also about generating momentum for the Countdown. In a perfect world, you’d want to be on a winning streak going into Charlotte (for the first race in the NHRA playoffs).”
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