An amped-up Steve Torrence left the starting line first and drove his CAPCO Contractors dragster across the finish line first in Sunday’s rain-delayed final round of the 13th Circle K 4Wide Nationals at ZMax Dragway, but it was no cause for celebration.
Unfortunately, the four-time Top Fuel World Champion was guilty of a rare foul start that negated a 3.717 second time and 334.32 mile per hour finish line speed and relegated him to a fourth-place finish behind Austin Prock, Leah Pruett and Josh Hart.
Despite Sunday’s frustration, the 53-time Camping World tour winner and his CAPCO crew will move on to Chicago for the 23rd NHRA Route 66 Nationals still solidly in the point lead.
When qualifying begins May 19 at Route 66 Raceway, Torrence will lead Justin Ashley by 35 points, Pruett by 53 and Prock by 55.
Although he has yet to win a race this season, he has led the Top Fuel points after four of five events.
“I hate that we’re not racing again this week,” Torrence said. “When you have something happen like that, you just want to get back on the horse and make up for it.
“These CAPCO boys gave me a great car,” he said. “We went down the track every run and we ran our fastest speed ever (335.32 mph) – but we didn’t get the Wally. That’s the bottom line.”
Despite the final round result, the 40-year-old Texan did little overall to tarnish his reputation as “Mr. Four-Wide.” Since 2016, he has raced in the final quad in nine of 11 four-wide races at Charlotte and Las Vegas and his six wins are three more than anyone else in any category.
While his own race didn’t go as well as planned, Torrence did have something to celebrate at the end of the day insomuch as his two-year-old daughter, Haven Charl, was a standout in the Red Line Oil Toddler Tricycle Nationals on Saturday
“Seeing her out there racing a CAPCO tricycle, I couldn’t be more proud to be her dad,” he said.