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Billy Torrence Back in the Saddle, Set to Make 2023 Top Fuel Debut at Texas Fall Nationals

Photo by Mark Rebilas

Citing his desire to support the Texas Motorplex and its expanding Stampede of Speed motorsports festival, Billy Torrence returns to the cockpit of the second CAPCO Contractors Top Fuel Toyota Friday when he makes the first of four qualifying runs in advance of the 38th annual Texas Fall Nationals.

Founder and CEO of CAPCO, an international oil-and-gas pipeline construction and maintenance business, the 65-year-old Texan won the Fall Nationals in 2019.  

A year later, he lost in the final round to son Steve, the four-time NHRA World Champion.

An eight-time Top Fuel winner, the elder Torrence also has won multiple national events in the Super Comp category in which both he and Steve initially developed their driving skills.

“It’s always fun racing with Steve, especially at the Motorplex,” he said.  “It’s been a little while, but it’s good to be back.”

Billy last drove a Top Fuel car in NHRA competition on Sept. 25, 2022, in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he lost to his son in the first round of the NHRA Carolina Nationals. He has made 79 career appearances over eight seasons, compiling an impressive 101-79 individual record while never failing to qualify for an event in which he has participated.

His last tour win came in 2021 when he beat two-time reigning Texas Fall Nationals champion Justin Ashley in the final round of what now is the Pep Boys Nationals at Reading, Pennslyvannia.  

Although he never has raced an entire season in Top Fuel, Billy was fifth in Camping World points in 2019 and 2021 and a career-best third in 2020.

Qualifying for the Texas Fall Nationals begins Friday with two nitro sessions, one at 5 p.m., Texas time, and a second at 8 p.m., Texas time.  Two more sessions, one at 2 p.m. and the other at 5 p.m., Texas time, on Saturday, will set the lineups for single elimination finals beginning Sunday at 12 noon. 

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This story was originally published on October 9, 2023. Drag Illustrated

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