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Steve Torrence continues dominant stretch with Top Fuel E2 win in Bristol

Steve Torrence will race Dom Lagana in the semifinals at NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
16 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
Steve Torrence

Steve Torrence’s march towards his sixth-straight Wally continued at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. He ran the quickest time of the second round of Top Fuel, a 3.842-second hit at 320.89-mph that put hometown hero Clay Millican on the hero. Torrence will race Dom Lagana, the brother of Torrence’s assistant crew chief, Bobby Lagana. 

Related: Top Fuel Ladder

Lagana got by fellow part-time racer Lex Joon, who got the first round win of his career earlier Sunday, ran a 4.072 and will not have lane choice against the defending Top Fuel champion. That’s going to be a tough matchup for the part-timer as he seeks to end Torrence’s long winning streak. 

No. 1 qualifier Doug Kalitta scored a wild victory at the expense of Terry McMillen and the Amalie Motor Oil Top Fuel team. Kalitta blew the tires off his Mac Tools dragster right at the step but was able to pedal his car and get it to fire up again. He trailed McMillen at every increment except the one that matters most: The finish line. 

Kalitta ended up running a 5.01-second pass next to McMillen’s 5.103 and he did it nearly 100-mph faster than the Indiana native. That sends Kalitta to the second round for a matchup against Mike Salinas, where he will not have lane choice. That’s because Salinas bolted to the second round with a 3.908-second pass against Antron Brown. 

Salinas, who won his first career race at the Denso Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, is chasing win No. 2. He qualified in the No. 5 position and beat Scott Palmer in the first round. His journey only gets tougher against Kalitta. The semifinals are scheduled for 3:30 p.m. You can catch the action live on NHRA.tv.