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Unconventional Format Returns to Camping World Tour for First Time in 719 Days

LAS VEGAS, Nevada – A lot has happened to Steve Torrence in the 719 days since drag racing’s Camping World professionals last raced side-by-side-by-side-by-side at Charlotte’s ZMax Dragway.

When he beat Clay Millican, Terry McMillen and Leah Pruett to win the tour’s last four-wide race on April 28, 2019, the three-time reigning Top Fuel World Champion was unmarried, childless and only marginally skilled in welding, the profession that provided his dad, Billy, the platform from which he founded Capco Contractors, Inc., a Texas-based oil and gas pipeline construction business.

However, when the 40-time pro tour winner rolls his Capco-backed dragster to the starting line at this week’s DENSO Spark Plugs Four-Wide at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway, he will do so as husband to Natalie and father to baby daughter Haven Charli Torrence, born little more than a week ago (April 7).

Moreover, since last he hoisted a four-wide trophy, he has added accomplished welder to a diverse personal resume that also includes skills in leathercraft, firearms, calf roping, cattle ranching, hunting, business development, business management and, of course, drag racing.

That having been said, no matter what may be different, nothing’s really changed for the soon-to-be 38-year-old cancer survivor who will be seeking his fifth victory in the last six NHRA events contested four across.

That’s not too shabby for someone who was not a fan of the format at the outset – and wasn’t afraid to say so. In his first five four-wide appearances, he advanced out of his quad just two times. It wasn’t until he accepted the four-wide as another challenge that his fortunes began to change.

Runner-up to close friend Antron Brown at Charlotte in 2015 and the No. 1 qualifier a year later, he finally reached the winners’ circle in 2017 and has been winning ever since, sweeping the four-wide titles in 2018.

Although he failed to advance out of the second quad the last time LVMS went four across in 2019, Torrence is understandably confident this week not just because of his recent four-wide record but because he has been a finalist in four of his last five appearances at The Strip where he swept the spring and fall events in 2018 en route to his first championship.

Looking Back
Steve Torrence at the DENSO Spark Plugs Nationals (spring race)

Year Qualifying Position/Racing Result

2010 Las Vegas 1 DNQ
2011 Las Vegas 1 16. Lost to Larry Dixon
2012 Las Vegas 1 11. Beat Bob Vandergriff Jr., David Grubnic; lost to Spencer Massey
2013 Las Vegas 1 8. Lost to Morgan Lucas (foul)
2014 Las Vegas 1 3. Beat Terry McMillen, J.R. Todd; lost to Doug Kalitta
2015 Las Vegas 1 4. Beat Terry McMillen; lost to Richie Crampton
2016 Las Vegas 1 1. Lost to Steve Chrisman
2017 Las Vegas 1 1. Bye; lost to Antron Brown
2018 Las Vegas 4 Wide 5. WINNER over Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Antron Brown
2019 Las Vegas 4 Wide 2. Won first quad; lost in 2nd
2020 Las Vegas 4 Wide Event Not Contested

Steve’s quickest time: 3.720 seconds, March 31, 2017
Steve’s fastest speed: 327.59 mph, April 6, 2019

Track records – 3.652 seconds by Brittany Force, Nov. 3, 2019; 338.17 mph by Brittany Force, Nov. 1, 2019.

Steve Torrence at the Dodge Nationals (fall race)

Year Qualifying Position/Racing Result

2006 Las Vegas 2 11. Beat Cory McClenathan; lost to J.R. Todd
2009 Las Vegas 2 2. Beat Terry McMillen; lost to Spencer Massey
2010 Las Vegas 2 5. Beat Chris Karamesines; lost to David Grubnic
2011 Las Vegas 2 8. Lost to David Grubnic
2012 Las Vegas 2 8. Beat Morgan Lucas; lost to Tony Schumacher
2013 Las Vegas 2 2. Beat T.J. Zizzo; lost to Brandon Bernstein
2014 Las Vegas 2 7. Lost to Shawn Langdon
2015 Las Vegas 2 4. Lost to Doug Kalitta
2016 Las Vegas 2 6. Beat Richie Crampton, Doug Kalitta, Leah Pritchett and J.R. Todd
2017 Las Vegas 2 2. Beat Terry Haddock; lost to Shawn Langdon
2018 Las Vegas 2 2. Beat Shawn Reed, Billy Torrence, Richie Crampton and Leah Pritchett
2019 Las Vegas 2 5. Beat Scott Palmer, Mike Salinas, Doug Kalitta; lost to Brittany Force
2020 Las Vegas 2 2. Beat Kebin Kinsley, Troy Buff Justin Ashley; lost to Antron Brown

Steve’s quickest time: 3.690 seconds, Nov. 3, 2019
Steve’s fastest speed: 333.33 mph, Oct. 27, 2018.

DENSO Four-Wide

Steve Torrence in the last five NHRA four-wide races

April 30, 2017 Charlotte4. WINNER over Tony Schumacher, Leah Pruett and Terry McMillen
April 8, 2018 Las Vegas5. WINNER over Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Antron Brown
April 29, 2018 Charlotte4. WINNER over Doug Kalitta, Terry McMillen and Clay Millican
April 7, 2019 Las Vegas2. Won first quad; lost in 2nd to Brittany Force and Doug Kalitta
April 28, 2019 Charlotte6. WINNER over Clay Millican, Terry McMillen and Leah Pruett

Four finals, four wins, 13-1 record

* * * *

NHRA Camping World Championship Points
TOP FUEL (After One Event)

1. Josh Hart, Burnyzz/Technet dragster 113
2. Shawn Langdon, DHL/Kalitta Air dragster 94
3. Justin Ashley, Strutmasters/GuardLab dragster 72
4. Antron Brown, Matco Tools dragster 72
5. Steve Torrence, Capco Contractors dragster 64
6. Billy Torrence, Capco Contractors dragster 62
7. Doug Kalitta, Mac Tools dragster 54
8. Leah Pruett, MOPAR/Pennzoil/Okuma dragster 52
9. Brittany Force, Monster Energy/Flav-R-Pak dragster 35
10. Mike Salinas, Scrappers Racing dragster 34

* * * *
Looking Ahead
2021 NHRA Camping World Tour

4-02 Lucas Oil Southern Nationals Atlanta, GA
4-16 NGK/NTK 4Wide Nationals Charlotte, NC
4-23 Mopar Express Lane Spring Nationals Houston, TX
6-06 NHRA Virginia Nationals Richmond, Va.
6-13 NHRA New England Nationals Epping, NH
6-27 Summit Equipment Nationals Norwalk, OH
7-18 Dodge SRT Mile-High Nationals Denver, CO
7-25 NHRA Sonoma Nationals Sonoma, CA
8-01 FLAV-R-PAC Northwest Nationals Seattle, WA

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