At the age of 15 years old, drag racing champion Steve Torrence was competing behind the wheel of a 160 MPH racecar. As his promising career began to unfold with win after win, Torrence had to face the ultimate challenger – cancer – in 2000. Push ahead 17 years, and this promising NHRA Top Fuel driver is not only back on track, but is quickly racking up the wins, including his fourth win at this weekend’s at the NHRA Nationals.
After qualifying third and piloting his Capco Contractors dragster past Troy Coughlin, Jr., Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals winner Clay Millican and Brittany Force, Torrence would move on to face Kalitta Motorsports driver Doug Kalitta in Sunday’s final round.
As Torrence and Kalitta lined up for the cancer survivor’s sixth final round of the season, Torrence secured his career-best victory with a 3.743-second pass at 331.45 MPH to defeat Doug Kalitta on a holeshot after he ran a 3.736 at 331.36 MPH in his Mac Tools dragster.
“I knew I that I was good on the tree, but I knew that it would still be a coin toss on who would pick up the win and fortunately I was able to come out ahead,” said Torrence.
This win keeps the Torrence Racing driver atop the Top Fuel point standings ahead of Leah Pritchett going into the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
Torrence wouldn’t be the only driver to pick-up consecutive wins at this weekend at Summit Racing Equipment Motorsports Park. Don Schumacher Racing driver Jack Beckman earned his second Funny Car win of the season and 26th career victory on Sunday after powering his Infinite Hero Foundation Dodge Charger R/T past Cruz Pedregon, Matt Hagan and Tommy Johnson Jr. before reaching his third final round of the season against John Force driver Robert Hight.
Beckman would take down the Top Gun driver with a 4.073-second pass at 311.85 MPH for his first win since Englishtown.
“We were consistently a bit off this weekend, but we are definitely happy to earn the victory this weekend,” said Beckman.
Despite his win, Beckman remains in third place in the points standings behind teammates Ron Capps and Matt Hagan, who both fell in the quarterfinals.
Returning podium victors continued to be the theme of the weekend, as Pro Stock driver and series points leader Bo Butner would earn his third victory of the season after earning his sixth final round appearance of the season by defeating Mark Hogan, Allen Johnson and Jason Line before moving to face Greg Anderson in Sunday’s final round.
After driving to a 6.601-second pass at 210.50 MPH in his Jim Butner’s Chevy Camaro on a holeshot, Butner would continue his dominance to become the first three-race winner in the Pro Stock Category this season.
“Today was a great day, we made four consistent runs and my car was good when it needed to be,” said Anderson. “It is one thing to have a good car, but we also had a lot of things go our way against the lights today.”
This win pushes Butner 126 points ahead of Greg Anderson in the point standings.
The 2017 NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series season continues with the Fallen Patriots NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by K&N Filters at Route 66 Raceway July 6-9. Stay tuned to RacingJunk.com for all your NHRA coverage!