He savored the memories of his recent Top Fuel victory at Englishtown, N.J., but now it is time for Steve Torrence and his Torrence Racing/Capco Contractors Inc. team to get back to work.
While NHRA’s Full Throttle Series offers its millions of fans the almost-instant gratification of knowing who wins each round, victorious teams usually have a few days to reminisce about their hard-fought decisions before they begin preparing for the next event.
That, for Torrence, is the Ford NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals, Friday through Sunday at Bristol Dragway, Bristol, Tenn. – a track like Englishtown that is steeped in drag racing tradition.
“Things are going really well for the Capco team,” Torrence said. “Richard Hogan has the car running awesome. Hopefully things will continue to go along like they are. We want to keep the momentum going.
“We are focusing on Bristol. I’ve only raced a Top Fuel car there once, in 2010, and that was with another team. It’s a good track. We know the weather will be hot, but Richard has a good handle on the hot-weather tune-ups. I am really excited about the race.”
In nine 2012 events, this new, one-car team has been to two finals – winning at Englishtown and Atlanta – and two semifinals; been in the top half of the starting line-up seven times, including one low qualifier, and had three consecutive second-place starts.
The effort has accumulated 644 series points for Torrence, good enough for the fifth spot and puts him 27 points behind third-place Antron Brown with seven races remaining before the Countdown to 1 six-race title showdown.
But Torrence isn’t paying attention to the points. He told Joe Castello on WFO.com radio that he doesn’t “look at points. The only time points matter is at the final race at Pomona. We will continue to do the same things.
“Richard has been out here long enough to know exactly how to run the car,” he continued. “He knows we are going to need a lot of inventory for the Countdown. We are making plans for the Countdown now.
“I do not want to get the cart before the horse. We have had some success. I don’t think that it is just a flash in the pan. I do think we have a very good team. But we will continue to take it one race, one round at a time.”
Asked about his Englishtown elimination wins by one-thousandth of a second over Tony Schumacher and Spencer Massey, Torrence remarked, “To beat Tony Schumacher or Spencer Massey at a race, you have definitely achieved something, but to beat them back-to-back . . . I think we were living lucky that day.”
Massey is the series points leader (753) and Schumacher is second (719). They are Team Schumacher entries.