Whether you call him “Mr. Four-Wide,” “Captain Cuatro,” “The Four-Wide Phenom” or the “King of Quad,” there’s no doubt that Steve Torrence is the unparalleled master of the discipline first introduced to West Coast race fans with the 2018 debut of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
In a town where one can place a wager on just about anything, it would be hard to find anyone who would bet against the 38-year-old Texan and the Capco Contractors team that has made him a four-time Camping World Top Fuel champion.
Not only has Torrence won two of the previous three four-wide races at The Strip, including the most recent, he has won six of the last seven four-wide competitions overall including four straight at the track on which the non-traditional format made its big screen debut in 2010, zMAX Dragway in Charlotte, N.C.
That’s not too shabby for a guy whose initial response to four-across competition was just a little this side of positive.
“I didn’t like it at all,” Torrence admitted, “mainly because it took us out of our usual routine and kinda out of our comfort zone. But when it was obvious that it was here to stay, we did what we had to do to master it. Then we started having success and, well, that’ll change how you think pretty quickly. I became a really big fan.”
Other than Torrence, no one has won more than twice in four-wide events in any of the four-wheel categories. Not only has he won, he’s claimed at least one win from every lane: one, two, three and four. That, he says, is simply a credit to crew chiefs Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr. and their ability to adjust to changing conditions.
“These Capco Boys are unbelievable,” he said. “They’re the best. Absolutely. No matter how many four-wides or how many other races I wind up winning, it won’t be because of anything I’ve done. The Capco Boys do all the work and I’m just the guy who’s lucky enough to drive the best race car out there.”
There will be four nitro qualifying sessions in the run-up to final eliminations instead of the usual three, a departure from the new normal first evidenced in last October’s Stampede of Speed festival at the Texas Motorplex.
Nitro qualifying sessions are scheduled for 3 p.m. and 5:30 p.m., Texas time, Friday and at the same times Saturday. First round of four-wide eliminations will begin at 2 p.m., Texas time, Sunday.
FS1 television coverage of the NHRA Four-Wide Nationals will include two qualifying shows, one from 6-7:30 p.m,, Texas time, on Friday and second from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m., Texas time, on Sunday. A three hour-show covering eliminations will begin at 6 p.m., Texas time, Sunday.