Top Fuel points leader Steve Torrence rode out a wild crash in a winning second-round race at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals with Richie Crampton. Torrence was ahead of Crampton when the car went out of control, hit the left wall, then caromed across the track into the right wall.
Torrence, who emerged unhurt, turned on the win light in what will go down as a 3.72 to 3.71 holeshot win.
“The left rear tire went down, and soon as it blew the car started going left,” said Torrence. “I tried to steer into it, but it hit the wall, and it was just a ride after that. I’m just glad that Richie didn’t run over me. I’ve been very fortunate and blessed to not have any of these problems until now. The good Lord is looking over me, and I’m good to go.
“That just goes to show how safe these cars are,” he added. “We’ve learned and NHRA and the Safety Safari and everyone, they give us the best we can get. That was a pretty dad-gum bad wreck, and I was able to stand up and get out of it.”
The team does have a backup car that it will work on to prepare for a crucial semifinal race with Brittany Force. Ironically, the chassis that Torrence uses was built by Crampton at the Morgan Lucas Racing shop in Indiana.
“It’s a brand-new MLR chassis just like what we run,” he said. "It’s race-ready, and we can pull it out and run.”
More than three dozen people, including crewmembers from the teams of Billy Torrence, Scott Palmer, and Kebin Kinsley, jumped into the fray to assist.
Torrence and the Richard Hogan-led team made it back easily in time for their semifinal race with Force but lost the round, 3.68 to 3.72.
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