Steve Torrence Earns Top Fuel License with 'Excellent' Showing Steve Torrence, the reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster champion and current point leader, had no problem earning his Top Fuel license Monday at Gateway ...
Steve Torrence Earns Top Fuel License with 'Excellent' Showing
Steve Torrence, the reigning NHRA Lucas Oil Series Top Alcohol Dragster champion and current point leader, had no problem earning his Top Fuel license Monday at Gateway International Raceway near St. Louis.
Torrence, one of the drag racing's rising stars, made back-to-back runs of 4.76 seconds at 308 mph and 4.75 seconds at 305 mph in JR Todd's Skull Shine Top Fuel dragster the day after the NHRA Midwest Nationals.
"Things couldn't have gone better," said Torrence, 23, of Kilgore, Texas. " On the first run, the tires shook at 300 feet and I didn't want to tear anything up, so I clicked it early. It smoked the tires on the second run.
"I honestly was glad that happened because I was more acclimated with the car and more comfortable as the day went on. I was very comfortable and confident in the car on the last two runs."
Torrence's licensing runs came under the watchful eyes of two-time Top Fuel champion Larry Dixon and Todd -- who signed off on the license upgrade -- Todd' s crew, chief Jim Walsh, and Torco/Skull Shine representative Brian Olson.
"He did an excellent job," Walsh said. "He had no problems whatsoever."
Torrence admitted he was ready if anything came up. "I drove the last two passes waiting for something to happen. It was now-or-never circumstances and I thought 'if it shakes (the tires), I'm going to be ready to grab the brakes.' They were two beautiful passes from a driver's point of view. The car never shook or quivered the tires."
What was the most notable difference between the Top Fuel dragster and his TAD ride?
"The Top Fuel car pulls harder down low a little bit," answered Torrence, " but the major difference is in the last eighth-mile. It was like the car took off. It just does not lay over in comparison to the other dragster. It pulls all the way."
As for his competitive plans, Torrence said they will be announced in the near future.