Steve Torrence continued to roll at the NHRA New England Nationals. He defeated Scott Palmer, a racer he shares a friendship and technical alliance with, to win his seventh Top Fuel Wally of 2019 and second-straight at New England Dragway. He made a clean run to the stripe while Palmer put a cylinder out down track.
Torrence defeated Auto Club Road to the Future candidate Austin Prock in the first round after qualifying in the No. 12 position. The two left at the same time, but Torrence laid down a quicker lap which booked him lane choice against Terry McMillen in the second round. Torrence earned comfortable victories in the next two rounds to reach his ninth final of 2019.
"That first round was a really important matchup," said Torrence. "Austin is a really good leaver, (crew chief Mike Green) is good at his job and that car is starting to come around. I knew that I had to be on my game and either leave with him or at the very least leave on time. I wasn't expecting to see a 3.75 show up on the board, but it just goes to show that (crew chief) Richard Hogan is the man."
Prock is the only racer who made a full pull down the track against Torrence on race day, but Torrence made four-straight runs in the 3.80s or quicker. His consistency continues to be a hallmark of the Capco Contractors team as it seeks to defend its 2018 Top Fuel world title.
Palmer was racing in his second Top Fuel final. His first also came against Torrence at the 2018 Phoenix event. He moved back into the top 10 as he hunts his third-straight trip to the NHRA Countdown to the Championship. He earned 80 points on race day and now sits eight points ahead of Prock in the No. 10 position. Points lock in five races following the Chevrolet Performance U.S. Nationals.
The Magic Dry Organic Absorbent Top Fuel team defeated Dan Mercier in the first round, escaped a tough matchup against Antron Brown in the second round and defeated Clay Millican in the semifinals. Palmer’s last semifinal appearance was at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals, a three-round event. He had not gone past the first round for five races.
The next race on the NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series schedule is the Dodge NHRA Mile-High Nationals in Denver. That will kick off on July 26 and be the 14th of 24 events on the tour.