Tell me if you have heard this story before..........Top Fuel star Steve Torrence won the NHRA Sonoma Nationals on Sunday for his third straight victory and second to open the three-race Western Swing.
Torrence, the points leader and three-time defending series champion, beat Leah Pruett in the final with a 3.757 second run at 327.98 mph. He has six victories this season and 46 overall.
“I went up there and was a little antsy on the (starting line) and just got away with it,” Torrence said. “I did everything possible to screw that final round up. These Capco boys are unbelievable and I’m just the fortunate guy who is blessed to drive it. It’s so much fun racing here and we’ve still got the hopes alive to go sweep the swing.”
On Saturday, Torrence had locked up his spot in the 2021 Countdown to the Championship after qualifying in the #2 position. He leveraged that position in beating Cameron Ferre in the first round with a blistering 3.713 second run at 331.77 mph.
In the second round, Doug Kalitta put up a good fight but was unable to beat Torrence's 3.730 run at 327.35 mph. After 2 solid rounds, it looked like Steve Torrence again was the person to beat.
Antron Brown was the competition in the semi's and historically has shown he knows how to edge Torrence out with a 32-16 record in prior events. In this case, history was not a good way to bet on the matchup in Sonoma as the Capco Boy showed his consistency again running a 3.739 at 328.70 mph moving him into the final round against Pruett.
His win in Sonoma means his Capco Contractor’s Top Fuel dragster is two-thirds of the way to sweeping the 2021 Western Swing. This is his third race victory in a row (Norwalk, Denver, and now Sonoma) and his 6th overall in 2021. Torrence disclosed after the race that he was able to get this win with a brand-new car.
Where was Steve's father and Top Fuel competitor Billy Torrence? He was competing in and ended up winning Super Comp at a Division 5 event in Topeka at nearly the exact same time his son was uncorking the champagne in Sonoma. The Capco boys normally both compete in NHRA’s Top Fuel class at Camping World Drag Racing Series events, but this weekend only Steve was in Sonoma while Billy was in Topeka so that they could both share in the NHRA success. After all, 2 Wally's are better than one!
The Western Swing will end next week at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona.