Torrence and Conway score again in Brainerd BRAINERD, Minn. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster phenom Steve Torrence and former World Champ Tom Conway stayed perfect as a duo at national events by winning this past weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals...
Torrence and Conway score again in Brainerd
BRAINERD, Minn. - Rookie NHRA Top Alcohol Dragster phenom Steve Torrence and former World Champ Tom Conway stayed perfect as a duo at national events by winning this past weekend's Lucas Oil Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway. Torrence and Conway 'ran the table' on the field by qualifying No. 1 and running a string of 5.20 elapsed times on their way to the winner's circle.
Torrence, a 22 year-old college student from Kilgore, Texas, qualified the Conway tuned injected-nitro dragster No. 1 with a 5.249 second blast at 263.10 mph. In round one, Torrence made short work of Robin Samsel with a 5.234 at 263.26 mph, then took out veteran Marty Thacker with a 5.258 at 264.65 mph. In his semifinal bout with Minnesota local Jeff Hamelink, Torrence once again stayed in the .20's with a 5.279 at 262.64 mph.
The final round set the stage between the aspiring champ Torrence and 2002 World Champ Art Gallant. Torrence went on to rewrite the track record books for the third time of the weekend with a 5.231 at 265.01 mph over Gallant's 5.475 at 267.53 mph.
"Tom really had this car hopped up and on a string this weekend," said Torrence. "It was just unbelievable to drive, it pulled so hard this weekend. I just keep thinking this is a dream I don't want to wake up from. The crew did a great job, Shane Conway, Keith Zimmerer and Cody Draper. They worked really hard to give me a great hot rod. It feels great to be in the winner's circle again, and for our sponsors Valvoline, NGK and Casino Queen."
The win moved Torrence, who did not start driving until mid season, to ninth in national standings. Drivers competing for the Lucas Oil World Championship can claim their best five out of the first eight nationals and best five out of the first eight divisionals they attend. Torrence and Conway have only attended two national events thus far and four divisionals, stirring the talk of a World Championship among some.
"I know people are talking, but there's still a lot of racing left to do," commented Torrence. "All we can do is focus on the next race and try to do our best there. If we do that well, the points should take care of themselves."
The next outing for the Conway Automotive team will be the Division 5 Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event at Heartland Park in Topeka, Kan., Aug. 26-28. From there, the team will head to the biggest race of them all, the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals in Indy, Labor Day Weekend.