Steve Torrence makes Top Fuel history with fifth straight win at Charlotte in spring


Reigning NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Fuel Champion Steve Torrence has a shot at making history if he can win the Circle K NHRA Four-Wide National Championships at zMAX Dragway for the fifth consecutive time. .

No Top Fuel driver in history has ever had a five-year monopoly on the winner’s circle at a specific event, and Torrence is one of only four drivers – including Joe Amato, Tony Schumacher and Antron Brown – who have dominated a single event four of consecutive years, but no one has ever done it five times.



Joe Amato, 4, Denver (1987-’91)
Tony Schumacher, 4, Pomona 2 (2004-’07)
Tony Schumacher, 4, Indianapolis (2006-’09)
Antron Brown, 4, St. Louis (2012-’15)
Steve Torrence, 4, Charlotte 1 (2017-2021*)
* Event not contested in 2020

Torrence are winless so far this season – in what the prolific winner is one of the longest droughts of recent seasons – so the Capco Contractors team’s return to the Charlotte four-man event is a welcome opportunity to end this skein and do some background in the process. Torrence’s team has dominated the North Carolina track with six wins in the last eight events, including four straight at the spring four-way event and two wins at the fall Carolina Nationals – only Robert Hight from Funny Car had just as much success at the zMAX, but four of its six wins came in the fall race, giving the team so much confidence heading into the event.

Although he didn’t reach the winner’s circle in 2022, Torrence made at least the semifinals in four of the five events and was a runner-up at the four-man Nationals in Las Vegas. Last weekend in Houston, he qualified No. 1 and reached the semifinals before dropping the cylinders – and the lap – to Justin Ashley, all with a new progressive tune-up that Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr. brought to the championship team.

“It’s a tough pill to swallow when you’re used to going out and going to the final round a lot,” admitted Torrence. “When you used to win a lot of races and you do five races and people think you’ve crashed and you’re not the car you were and you’re not this or not, but we didn’t just forget what we were doing. You have to sacrifice; you have to say, ‘I’m going to have to give up now to be better later,’ and that’s where we are. And I think things are slowly going in that direction. I think last weekend was a glow.

“We’ve had this dominant race car for the last four or five years, and we haven’t had to adjust, and when you have as much valuable information as you can, look back and adjust and take some decisions and set the race car for , you have a plethora of information. At this point we’re probably 30 laps away from doing something completely different, and everything we’ve done before is undone, you don’t so you don’t have this backlog, this inventory of things to build on. And so we kind of build as we go.

“Also, it’s definitely more competitive than ever in Top Fuel,” Torrence added, “but that’s what makes it fun. It’s all about the competition. The longer you’re on top, the harder it gets. to stay there and that’s our challenge this year: to stay on top.



John Force, 5, Gainesville (1992-’96)


Bob Glidden, 5, Columbus (1979-’83)


Dave Schultz, 7, Atlanta (1990-’96)


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