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Team CAPCO Opens Season with a Roar

Mark Rebilas photo

Billy Torrence won family bragging rights in a tire-smoking semifinal duel with son Steve, but he couldn’t get past No. 1 qualifier Shawn Langdon in the final round Sunday and had to settle for runner-up honors in the 55th renewal of the Amalie Oil Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

The No. 6 qualifier in a CAPCO Contractors Top Fuel Toyota tuned by veterans Jason McCulloch and Joe Barlam, the elder Torrence beat two-time former series champion Brittany Force in round one and perennial title contender Mike Salinas in the second before winning the family feud and advancing to his first final round in two-and-a-half years.  

Despite his disappointment at not adding a ninth Top Fuel title to his resume, the 65-year-old founder and CEO of CAPCO Contractors, Inc., will be just a round-and-a-half off Langdon’s lead when qualifying begins March 22nd in the 64th annual Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Calif. 

Meanwhile, his son, the four-time former World Champion, is third in the driver standings, 10 points behind dad and 33 ahead of reigning tour champ Doug Kalitta whom he defeated in a pivotal second round showdown Sunday.

“It’s not the day we wanted, but it wasn’t bad either,” said the younger Torrence. “It’s always great racing with my dad and obviously he’s not out here to just go through the motions.  He’s a competitive guy and it’s gonna be a lot of fun out here with the hot rods these CAPCO boys have put under us.  I wish we could go race them somewhere tomorrow but we’ll just wait for Pomona.”

This story was originally published on March 11, 2024. Drag Illustrated

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