Texan Overcomes Qualifying Struggles to Win 19th annual Denso Spark Plug Nationals
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – After struggling during qualifying, Steve Torrence recaptured his four-wide form Sunday and drove the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to a convincing victory in the 19th annual Denso Spark Plug Nationals before a sellout crowd at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
It was the 34-year-old Texan’s second straight four-wide win and it made him the first Top Fuel driver to win four-wide races at two different tracks. He was the four-wide winner last spring at zMAX Dragway at Charlotte, N.C., a track on which he will defend his title just three weeks hence.
Based on qualifying performance one certainly would not have expected Torrence to be among those running for the championship. The 18-time NHRA tour winner didn’t get down the race track on either of his first three qualifying runs because of clutch issues.
When crew chief Richard Hogan finally went back to basics...
Point Leader Sends Capco Contractors Dragster After Denso Nationals Title
LAS VEGAS, Nevada – In the offbeat western Quigley Down Under, the title character makes it clear from the outset that he “has no use” for handguns, preferring instead a Sharps long rifle with which he is extremely proficient.
In the movie’s climax, however, as his adversary lies dying in the dirt following an OK Corral-style gunfight, Quigley offers up an explanation of his unanticipated skill with a pistol: “I said I didn’t have much use for one. Didn’t say I didn’t know how to use it.”
That’s the way Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence feels about four-wide drag racing which makes its west coast debut this week with the 19th running of the Denso Spark Plug Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Although he has been a vocal critic of the novelty format since it made its national event debut at Charlotte, N.C., in 2010, the 34-year-old cancer survivor hasn’t...
Event 04: NHRA Four-Wide Nationals
The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway
Kalitta desires a return to the Vegas winners circle Las Vegas Highlights: Two wins (Fall 2015, Fall 2004); Four finals (Spring 2014, Fall 2007, Spring 2005, Spring 2003); Two no. 1 qualifiers (Spring 2005, Spring 2003)
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Four-Wide Nationals – Las Vegas
After time in the shop, Cruz Pedregon and team have the Snap-on Toyota ready to go for the inaugural four-wide event in Las Vegas. “Being a part of history and running four-wide at The Strip will be a fun, new challenge, and we're looking forward to it," Cruz says. "To get ready, we took some time to study that intake valve break we had last weekend, and we've got the car set to make more successful runs in Vegas. I had my 500th career start at this track, and fans will remember the 2016 wheel stand…I know I do. So, we plan to make new memories, with even better numbers, while keeping the car on the ground."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "We've got the El Guapo body loaded to go after El Jefe took the heat from a valve issue in Gainesville. I'm feeling good about where we're heading…looking forward to the new four-wide format and a solid Q1 to set the stage for consistent runs in Vegas."
Crampton wins Gatornationals Race Recap: Richie Crampton became the 10th driver to win for NHRA icon Connie Kalitta as he picked up his first Gatornationals win earlier today.
The weekend did not go completely as planned as qualifying was not what Crampton or crew chiefs, Rob Flynn and Connie Kalitta, envisioned. The Kalitta Air/DHL dragster failed to make it down the track cleanly in any of the four qualifying attempts. Their best, a 3.942...
Texan Stumbles at Gatornationals, But So Do Key Rivals in Mello Yello Series
GAINESVILLE, Florida – A change in the weather threw the sport’s most talented crew chiefs a wicked curve ball Sunday during the 49th running of the NHRA’s Amalie Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
After qualifying in bright sunshine, teams were greeted Sunday by overcast skies that changed the performance dynamic and sent many of the favorites, including Texan Steve Torrence, to an early exit.
Torrence, who drove the Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster to an impressive victory three weeks ago, his ninth in the previous 21 Mello Yello tour events, didn’t make it beyond round one this time, extending his frustration in one of the sport’s biggest races.
Although he left the starting line with a .035 of a second advantage, Torrence felt the car start to lose traction shortly thereafter and then make a strong right to left move that carried it across the centerline resulting in a...
Leah Pritchett to Compete in the Top Fuel category, the Factory Stock Showdown, and the Papa John's Charity Challenge at the NHRA Gatornationals
BROWNSBURG, Indiana (March 13, 2018) – This weekend at the NHRA Gatornationals Leah Pritchett will wear many hats, literally.
With two Wally trophies and a charity challenge on the line, the quickest woman in NHRA history will go for a three-in-one at the Gainesville, Fla. event, competing in the Top Fuel category, the Factory Stock Showdown and the Papa John’s Charity Challenge.
“I always dig doing things differently, and to their maximum capabilities,” said Pritchett, a five-time Top Fuel event champion.
At this weekend’s event, Pritchett will fly the colors of Papa John’s Pizza and FireAde on her 11,000-horsepower Top Fuel entry. In the Factory Stock Showdown, she will line up against her competitors in a Hoonigan-designed Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, and in the Papa John’s Charity Challenge...
Point Leader Back on Pavement after Going Off-Road with Antron at Mint 400
GAINESVILLE, Fla. – After an off-road adventure in which he partnered with Top Fuel rival and close friend Antron Brown at the Mint 400, Mello Yello point leader Steve Torrence returns to pavement this weekend where he will strap back into the cockpit of the 330 mile-an-hour Capco Contractors dragster to pursue his 10th win in the last 22 NHRA pro tour events.
Although he never has won in Florida, recent history, his current point standing and an impressive victory three weeks ago at Phoenix, where he posted a career-best time of 3.655 seconds, have established the 34-year-old Texan as the Top Fuel favorite in the 49th annual Amalie Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.
Ironically, standing between him and a first Gatornationals title is his “Chocolate and Crème Racing” teammate, the man with whom he shared a Polaris RZR ride last week in the Nevada desert. Antron Brown not only is a three-time...
BROWNSBURG, Indiana (February 28, 2018) – For years, Don Schumacher Motorsports (DSM) has been regarded as a leading parts supplier for teams competing in NHRA’s nitro categories. After spending much of the 2017-2018 off-season ramping up its inventory of products, DSM is now branching out to supply NHRA Sportsman racers in its role as a performance parts distributor.
For NHRA Sportsman competitors who race a Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak, DSM and Don Schumacher Racing (DSR) have worked in collaboration with Mopar, SRT and BES Racing Engines to offer a variety of parts and components for the modern-day package car, including aluminum HEMI® engine packages that utilize Mopar blocks and heads as building blocks.
DSM will also offer Mopar Dodge Challenger Drag Pak NHRA Factory Stock customers on-site parts support during the seven SAM Tech NHRA Factory Stock Showdown events.
The timing is perfect for Top Fuel star Leah Pritchett, who recently announced she will...
Father-Son Semifinal Highlights Banner Day for Capco Contractors Team
PHOENIX, Ariz. – Steve Torrence sped to a career best time of 3.655 seconds in qualifying, beat his dad by the narrowest of margins in an all-Capco Contractors Top Fuel semifinal and then outran close friend Scott Palmer to win the 34th annual NHRA Arizona Nationals.
It was the 34-year-old Texan’s ninth win in the last 21 NHRA events and it propelled him into the Mello Yello point standings for the third straight year.
Nevertheless, of all of his 17 career victories, this one was special because of the classic father-son semifinal. The younger Torrence got the win, but it wasn’t easy. He won in 3.722 seconds at 328.86 miles per hour; his dad Billy lost in 3.726 seconds at 328.54 mph.
“We’ve been able to do a lot of cool stuff,” the younger Torrence said of his relationship with his dad, “but that one right there is going to rank at the top of all my career – racing my old man like that. The only way...
Race Recap: Shawn Langdon and the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car advanced to the semi-finals for the first time in Phoenix at the Arizona Nationals.
The Global Electronic Technology team had a very nice Saturday qualifying effort with each of their runs ranked in the top five of the session. The final pass, a 3.927 second run at 329.42 mph, reset Langdon's career-bests in both elapsed time and mph. That run placed Langdon in the 10th position on the qualifying sheet and a draw of former champion Cruz Pedregon in the first round.
Langdon and Pedregon would leave side-by-side, but the Global Electronic Technology Camry...