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Mike Salinas advances to Top Fuel final with a shot to end Steve Torrence's streak in Bristol

Mike Salinas and Steve Torrence will battle for NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals Top Fuel Wally
16 Jun 2019
Jacob Sundstrom, NHRA National Dragster Associate Editor
Race coverage
Mike Salinas

Mike Salinas will race in his fourth career final round in a bid to stop Steve Torrence from winning his sixth race in a row. He made a spectacular run to defeat Doug Kalitta, running a 3.817-second pass at 320.20-mph to secure lane choice against Torrence in the final at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. 

Related: Top Fuel Ladder

Salinas got off the line first against Kalitta, a feat in itself, and then held onto that lead the entire way down the track. He will race Torrence in a final round for the third time in 2019 and second time in three weeks. Salinas has yet to defeat Torrence in a final; though that’s a harsh critique since no one has beaten Torrence in a final since Kalitta did in Pomona to start 2019. 

The Scrappers Racing driver beat Antron Brown and Scott Palmer before taking down Kalitta in the semifinals. His lights have gradually improved in each round, ramping up from a .108 to a .071 to a .046 in the semifinals. He may need to be just as good to beat Torrence. 

Torrence last lost to Antron Brown in April at the 2019 Mopar NHRA Springnationals presented by Pennzoil. He has won 22-straight rounds since then and is looking to win his 23rd straight. His record is 27, a streak that was snapped by the loss to Kalitta in Pomona. 

The defending world champion beat part-time racer Pat Dakin in the first round before going on to beat Clay Millican in the second round. He defeated Lagana with his worst light of race day (.082). Torrence was better than .060 in each of the preceding rounds.

You can catch the final live on NHRA.tv or by tuning into FS1. The final rounds are scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Eastern.