Steve Torrence Working to Keep Points Lead at Summer Nationals Steve Torrence had a veritable flood of memories when qualifying began Friday for Sunday's NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka. Much has happened since ...
Steve Torrence Working to Keep Points Lead at Summer Nationals
Steve Torrence had a veritable flood of memories when qualifying began Friday for Sunday's NHRA O'Reilly Summer Nationals at Heartland Park Topeka.
Much has happened since Torrence, an unknown Super Comp racer, replaced the late Shelly Howard in the driver's seat of Tom Conway's SKULL GEAR/Torco Racing Fuels A/Fuel Dragster a little more than a year ago -- like winning the Lucas Oil championship, four national event victories in five finals, and five division victories in 2005 alone.
"We've had great success so far," said Torrence in an understatement. "It was awesome to go out and do as well as we did, and winning the championship put a cap on everything."
That success kept going when 2005 stopped. He's won twice in four 2006 national title rounds, finished second at the Division 4 race Sunday at Shreveport, La., and regained the points lead in both national and divisional series. His goal this weekend is to keep that advantage.
Torrence, of Kilgore, Texas, didn't take long to show his mettle, winning his first divisional race one week before taking the top prize in the Summer Nationals at Heartland Park.
"It was a storybook way to start the season and it stayed that way all year," Torrence recalled, "but what happened was always in the back of our you mind. I didn't know Shelly, but I know she was a really good person.
"Tom does a great job tuning the car and the crew guys have worked hard. We have the same crew and we just picked up where we left off last year."
The only difference is Steve Torrence is now well known.
Torrence was fifth in the 16-car field after Friday's first two qualifying sessions, with the final two slated Saturday.