Point Leader Aims for Fifth Season Victory in Capco Contractors Dragster
NORWALK, Ohio – Over the last 31 races, Steve Torrence has dominated Top Fuel racing in the NHRA’s high profile Mello Yello Series, guiding his Capco Contractors dragster to 12 victories and a glittering 75-19 record in head-to-head competition.
As a result, only once in the last 25 races has the Texas terror NOT been No. 1 or No. 2 in the driver standings.
Nevertheless, entering this week’s 12th annual Summit Racing Equipment Nationals at Summit Motorsports Park, an event in which he is the defending champion, Torrence is more impressed with his team’s resilience than with its amazing consistency.
“When we’ve stumbled, we’ve recovered well and I’m really proud of that,” Torrence said. “After our only first round losses this year (Gainesville, Fla., and Chicago), we came back at the next race and won.
“This is the same team we had all last year and the year before that,”...
NHRA® Team Report
Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals – Norwalk, OH
Cruz Pedregon and team made time to stop in their Brownsburg, Indiana shop this week before heading to Norwalk. The team is revved and ready for the fourth consecutive weekend race. "Jumping to eighth in the points has really bolstered this young team's confidence as we get on the road to Norwalk," says Cruz. "It feels good to have qualified in the top five in four of the last five races, and we're confident we'll do well Friday and Saturday and go rounds Sunday."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "We're looking at much cooler temperatures for the weekend ahead after grueling heat took its toll on all of us last weekend. We were able to get back to the shop to restock and refuel, and we're looking forward to making good things happen for Cruz and all the great NHRA fans at the track and watching the broadcast."
The Snap-on Funny Car will have its “Frankenstein” body for Norwalk. This fan...
Despite Track Issues, Texan Takes Capco Dragster to Semifinals in Bristol
BRISTOL, Tenn. – On a weekend during which he failed to earn a single qualifying bonus point for just the sixth time in the last 59 events, Steve Torrence managed to wrestle his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster all the way to the semifinals Sunday in the 18th annual Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway.
Ultimately, though, a 143-degree racetrack and the loss of the lane choice option denied the 35-year-old Texan a bookend Father’s Day victory to match the one he claimed in 2011.
Although he stopped Shawn Reed in round one and close friend and three-time series champ Antron Brown in round two, Torrence couldn’t get around eight-time champ Tony Schumacher in the semifinals after being relegated to the less-favored lane.
Schumacher advanced with a time of 4.038 seconds at 297.02 miles per hour while Torrence trailed at 4.104 at 254.04 mph, times and speeds to...
Event 11: Fitzgerald USA NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Back-to-back semifinals for Todd Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team scored their third semifinal result in the last four events today at Bristol Dragway.
Todd continued his run of solid qualifying performances. For the 10th time in the first 11 events to start the season, Todd earned bonus points as his 4.072 second pass in the Friday evening session was second-best, and allowed him to tie his career-best start...
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals - Bristol
For Cruz Pedregon, racing on Father's Day weekend has special meaning as the son of Drag Racing legend "Flaming Frank" Pedregon. "My brother Tony and I are still in the business our Dad introduced us to, and we love carrying on the legacy of the sport for him and all the great fans," Cruz says. "I'm driving and Tony's in the booth for FOX now, and we both love that our children have known this sport from the very start of their lives. We're proud to continue the tradition and appreciate all the families and sponsors who are doing the same by coming out to the tracks each week and watching the broadcasts." This week, you'll see the Snap-on Toyota in the Frankenstein body after El Chignon sustained significant damage in an explosion last weekend in Virginia that left only a side window intact.
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "We had a lot of work to do for this young team to get ready for Bristol. We're still...
TORRENCE TAKES AIM AT BRISTOL
Point Leader Hoping to Maintain “Fast-and-Steady” Pace in Capco Dragster
BRISTOL. Tenn. – With apologies to Aesop and his tale of “The Tortoise and the Hare,” the only thing a “slow and steady” pace will assure at this week’s 18th annual Fitzpatrick USA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway is an early seat in the spectator grandstand.
In a sport the Greek fabulist could not have imagined 2,500 years ago, one in which Top Fuel dragsters routinely accelerate from zero to 330 mph in fewer than 3.75 seconds, success falls to those best able to combine the speed of the hare with the pace of the tortoise.
In the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series, it’s “fast-and-steady” that wins races and, over the last three seasons, no one has been faster and steadier than the Capco Contractors team anchored by driver Steve Torrence.
The 35-year-old Torrence, who overcame Hodgkins lymphoma to win the 2005 NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster World...
Event 11: Fitzgerald USA Thunder Valley Nationals
Kalitta looking to add missing stat Bristol Highlights: Three wins (2006, 2005, 2001); Three finals (2014, 2012, 2009)
Last Event Recap (Virginia NHRA Nationals): Qualified fourth; Finalist (Defeated Dan Mercier in the first round, Leah Pritchett in the quarterfinals and Richie Crampton in the semifinals, lost to Steve Torrence in the finals)...
Event 10: Virginia NHRA Nationals
Virginia Motorsports Park
Kalitta scores another final round appearance Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team earned their third final round appearance at Virginia Motorsports Park this afternoon.
Kalitta did not have the qualifying portion of the weekend he would have liked, but the Mac Tools team made it count on the clean pass they made on Friday evening, which was good enough for fourth overall.
Kalitta drew second time competitor, Canadian Dan Mercier, in the first round. The Mac Tools...
Capco Contractors Driver Claims Fourth Win of Season, Extends Point Lead
RICHMOND, Va. – Facing a major challenge from veteran Clay Millican, steady Steve Torrence responded impressively Sunday at Virginia Motorsports Park where he drove his Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster past the Mac Tools dragster of Doug Kalitta in the final round of the 10th NHRA Virginia Nationals.
In winning for the fourth time this season and for the 12th time in the last 30 Mello Yello tour events, the 35-year-old Texan deftly avoided the upset virus that afflicted so many including Millican.
While Millican, Leah Pritchett, eight-time series champion Tony Schumacher and reigning champion Brittany Force all were on the sidelines before the semifinals, Torrence marched methodically to his 20th career Top Fuel victory with times of 3.818, 3.799, 3.837 and 3.812 seconds.
Not that his race day was not without its drama.
Even though crew chief Richard Hogan and car chief...
NEW CHALLENGE MOTIVATES TORRENCE
Texan Protects Point Lead in Return to Virginia Motorsports Park
RICHMOND, Va. – Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence would like to think that he has an edge at this week’s Virginia Nationals insomuch as he is one of those with previous experience at Virginia Motorsports Park, the Richmond-area track that hasn’t hosted an event in the NHRA series since 2009.
He’d like to believe that, but he doesn’t.
“That’s ancient history,” said the 35-year-old Texan. “The last time I raced here (2006), they were running the quarter mile. We ran the big tires on the back and we had parachutes. That’s about the only thing that relates to what we’re doing today.
“The advantage I do have is (crew chief) Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana (Jr.) and this Capco crew,” he said. “They’re the best at adapting to whatever gets thrown at them. You drive better when you go up there knowing you’ve got a bad ass race car and I go up there every round knowing...
Cruz Pedregon and team are looking forward to returning to Virginia Motorsports Park this weekend for the first time since the 2009 NHRA hiatus from the park. "We can't wait to get back on the track that was a winner for me and my team in 2008," says Cruz. "With my new team, we've now qualified in the top five in four of the last five events and in the top half of the field in six consecutive races. We're ready to take on the track in Dinwiddie…looking for good numbers and to going rounds in the Snap-on Toyota."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "The hard work we've put in over the past 18 months is paying off, and we're getting more consistent with our runs. We got a handle on what the car can do in both cool and hot temps in the same weekend, and we've got some good night tuning under our belts for the season, so we're ready for a competitive weekend of racing ahead."
“We hope all the fans will be excited to come out to the track when the NHRA heads back into town this week," Cruz...