TORRENCE UPSET AT CHICAGO
Texan Out in First Round of Route 66 Nationals; Retains Point Lead
CHICAGO, Ill. – Changing track conditions rendered inconsequential Steve Torrence’s record-breaking qualifying performance and ended the Texan’s bid to repeat as Top Fuel champion Sunday in the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 Nationals at Route 66 Raceway.
After obliterating the track record during qualifying with a time of 3.677 seconds and a finish line speed of 333.58 miles per hour, Torrence appeared to be in command in a first round match with journeyman Luigi Novelli until his Capco Contractors dragster began to lose traction near half track.
Unable to get the 10,000 horsepower hybrid back under control, the 19-time tour winner slowed to 4.237 seconds at just 221 mph. It was a disappointing result for the 35-year-old cancer survivor who was bidding for his fourth win of the current campaign and his 12th over the last two seasons.
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Route 66 Nationals - Chicago
After qualifying in the top half at seven out of eight races, Cruz Pedregon says the Snap-on Toyota team is doing well and is excited about being at Route 66, the ”home” track of primary sponsor Snap-on with headquarters nearby in Kenosha, WI. "It will be good to have so many of the Snap-on folks at the track this weekend," says Cruz. "At the end of last season, Snap-on renewed our contract to extend our great, long-time partnership. I set a track record here in 2015, so I'm up for setting a new one for our sponsor and all the terrific NHRA fans who'll be watching at the track, online and on TV."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "We know what the car can do, especially after what we've been able to get out of it over the last three races. We had low ET when the conditions were good at the last race, and we're expecting to see more of those types of runs this weekend."
“We've been doing some clean-up and...
FATHER-SON SHOWDOWN AT CHICAGO
Steve Torrence Defends Top Fuel Title in Route 66 Nationals Field That Includes his Dad
CHICAGO, Ill. – The biggest threat to Steve Torrence in his bid to repeat this week as Top Fuel champion at Route 66 Raceway may come from just across the dinner table.
“We’re both real competitive,” the 34-year-old said of his relationship with his dad, Billy, who this week will make his fifth appearance of the season, his first in the JEGS Route 66 Nationals, at the wheel of a second Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster.
“He wants to beat me as bad as I want to beat him,” Torrence said of the 57-year-old founder and CEO of Texas-based Capco Contractors against whom he has raced since he was a teenager.
They first opposed one another in Super Comp before Steve moved up to the Top Alcohol Dragster class where he won the 2005 NHRA championship. Now they have renewed their rivalry in the sport’s ultimate category.
Kurt Elliott named assistant crew chief for Langdon
YPSILANTI, Mich. (May 25, 2018) – Kalitta Motorsports is pleased to announce that Kurt Elliott has joined Team Kalitta, effective immediately. Elliott will join Nicky Boninfante as assistant crew chief on the Global Electronic Technology Toyota Camry Funny Car driven by Shawn Langdon.
“I am really excited to be joining Kalitta Motorsports. To work for Connie is incredible. He is a true legend in this sport,” said Elliott. “Kalitta Motorsports has some great people, which is something I am really big about. I have thought about racing with Nicky for many years, and I think we are a good fit. Shawn is a very...
Event 08: Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals presented by Minties
Heartland Motorsports Park
Todd advances to Topeka semifinal Race Recap: J.R. Todd and the DHL/WIX Filters team earned two round wins at the rain delayed Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals in Topeka.
Qualifying saw a strong performance from Todd, as the DHL/WIX Filters Camry was one of just four drivers to dip into the three second range. Todd also earned one bonus point in the final session and was seeded fourth overall going into...
TORRENCE EXITS IN TOPEKA SEMIS
Capco Driver Retains Point Lead Despite Monday Disappointment
TOPEKA, Kansas – When you’re the Mello Yello point leader, you get everyone’s best shot. That reality hit home with Steve Torrence Monday when he was upended by Terry McMillen in the semifinals of the rain-lengthened 30th annual Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.
“We ran good; they ran better,” was Torrence’s terse synopsis after McMillen’s 3.758 second effort got him to the finish line just ahead of the 35-year-old Texan who trailed in 3.784 seconds after pushing his Capco Contractors dragster to a time of 3.684 seconds in the previous round.
Rain delayed the start of the race for eight hours Sunday and, following a second round in which Torrence dispatched reigning world champion Brittany Force with comparative ease, NHRA officials opted to suspend racing because of the late hour.
After an eight-hour rain delay, the NHRA was able to begin eliminations for the Menards NHRA Heartland Nationals at 7:00 p.m. CST on Sunday evening. After two rounds, racing was suspended for the rest of the night when conditions made it impossible to continue. Eliminations will resume tomorrow at 10 a.m. local time beginning with Top Fuel semifinals.
The following DSR drivers have been eliminated after two rounds of competition:
Top Fuel – Antron Brown (E1), Leah Pritchett (E2)
Funny Car – Jack Beckman (E2), Ron Capps (E1), Matt Hagan (E2), Tommy Johnson Jr. (E2)
Tony Schumacher will represent Don Schumacher Racing on Monday. A complete...
TORRENCE EYES TOPEKA WIN
Point Leader Tries to Extend Every-Other-Race Victory Cycle in 2018
TOPEKA, Kansas – Point leader Steve Torrence tries to maintain an impressive every-other-race victory cycle this week when he drives the Capco Contractors dragster in pursuit of the Top Fuel title at the 30th annual Menard’s Heartland Nationals at Heartland Motorsports Park.
The only Top Fuel driver with multiple wins this year, the 35-year-old Texan hasn’t hoisted a trophy at Heartland Park since the 2005 season when he won both a national event and a Lucas Oil sportsman race on the way to the NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster world championship.
Despite that 13-year drought, Torrence returns with a wealth of confidence borne not only of his performance thus far this season but also of his runner-up finish to close friend and rival Antron Brown in this same race a year ago.
“We’re racing with confidence,” Torrence said. “(Crew chief Richard) Hogan is making great adjustments, the crew is...
NHRA® Team Report
NHRA Heartland Nationals - Topeka
Cruz Pedregon and team are headed to the Heartland with renewed energy and sights set on the next win of the season. "The Snap-on Toyota is fast, and it's exciting to get the round wins we know we can get out of the car," says Pedregon. “Of course, a trip to the semi-finals and a recent Wally are confidence builders for the team. It's something we all feel as a crew…it's a real sense of gratitude that the hard work is paying off."
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "Cruz has always been a great driver and, as a team, we've got our eye on the prize…going rounds and getting work done in the Snap-on Toyota. We're feeling good about Topeka and the races ahead."
"Heartland Motorsports Park has been a good track for us in the past, and we're hoping to add to the four wins I've had here," says Cruz, who set a track record in Topeka in 2012. On the side of Cruz's car this week –
On the side of Cruz's car this...
Event 07: NHRA Southern Nationals powered by Mello Yello
Kalitta claims Atlanta round win Race Recap: Doug Kalitta and the Mac Tools team advanced to the quarterfinals before losing a close race to Steve Torrence.
Kalitta has a great start to the weekend as he was scored in the number one spot after the first session. The Mac Tools machine tuned by Jim Oberhofer made multiple solid passes. After some shuffling in the final session, Kalitta was bumped to the sixth starting spot and drew his teammate Richie Crampton once again...
TORRENCE OPENS UP 120-POINT LEAD
Texan Takes Capco Contractors Dragster to Semifinals at Atlanta
ATLANTA, Georgia – Sometimes, even when you lose, you win.
Although his bid to repeat as event champion ended in the semifinals of the 38th annual NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, Steve Torrence still managed to extend his Top Fuel point lead over Tony Schumacher after the first seven of 18 races leading into the Countdown to the Mello Yello Championship.
Surprised by second year Top Fuel driver Blake Alexander in the semis the 35-year-old Texan still extended his lead over Schumacher by almost 50 points.
When the championship battle resumes in two weeks in Topeka, Kansas, Torrence will send his Capco Contractors dragster into the first qualifying session six rounds ahead of Schuimacher, the eight-time series champion, and seven ahead of Clay Millican, Doug Kalitta and Atlanta winner Leah Pritchett.
“We let that one get away,” Torrence said, “and I hate that but...
NO MORE ‘STEVE WHO?’ AT ATLANTA
Point Leader Seeks Second Straight Win, Third Overall in Southern Nationals
ATLANTA, Ga. – When Steve Torrence upended eight-time NHRA Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher to win the 2012 Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, he was a relative unknown in professional drag racing, a young Texan who in 54 previous appearances in the NHRA Mello Yello Series never before had raced in a final round.
When qualifying begins in this week’s 38th renewal of the southern classic, he won’t enjoy the luxury of such anonymity.
Little more than six years after forming his own team with the seemingly audacious goal of winning the Mello Yello Championship, Torrence has become the most celebrated driver in the world’s most extreme motorsport.
He returns to Atlanta Dragway not only as the defending event champion (after beating Schumacher in last year’s final round) but as the Top Fuel point leader and the favorite to win a championship that just eluded him the...
With Wally in tow, Cruz Pedregon and team are ready for another win as they head to Atlanta this weekend. "We are still riding high and know we've got the car, crew, fans and sponsor to make it happen again," said Pedregon. “As the driver, I'm really motivated, and it feels good to be backed by talented people and a really great car.”
Crew Chief Aaron Brooks says, "This team puts in long hours to make sure the Snap-on Toyota is running at its peak for Cruz, and the win gives us all a lot of confidence as we move forward in this very promising season. We're all now channeling our 'win' energy for a fast weekend ahead in Atlanta.”
Atlanta Dragway is a track favorite of Cruz's, even with the potential for changing weather throughout the weekend. Cruz and the rest of the team are prepared for whatever Mother Nature may present and are encouraging fans to come out to the track or watch FOX Sports to take in the excitement of the NHRA Southern Nationals. On the side of Cruz's car this...