Steve Torrence scored his fourth win of the 2020 season in Top Fuel, beating father Billy in front of his home-state fans at the AAA Texas NHRA FallNationals to expand his points lead heading into the final two events of the season,
After sitting out the season opener in Pomona, Steve reached his fifth final in eight starts this season from the No. 1 qualifying spot, starting with a first-round conquest of Cameron Ferre, with whom Torrence famously became embroiled in a post-run dust-up after the first round of the 2019 Auto Club NHRA Finals.
“Going into the final, you’re racing your dad and that car is bad to the bone,” said Steve Torrence, who was also the No. 1 qualifier. “He’s done a great job driving and I didn’t know what was going to happen up there. You’re just worried about getting there first and it was just an unbelievable weekend for the Capco team. To represent Capco, to represent Texas and put both cars in the final round, you can’t have a better weekend than that. The semifinal round had huge implications. We’re just battling it out toe-to-toe with Kalitta, and we’ve really kept our nose on the grindstone and we’ve tried to make every lap count.”
Torrence won this time cleanly and handily with a 3.704, then took a second-round bye for the 14-car field. He then stopped Shawn Langdon and the DHL/Kalitta machine in the semifinals, 3.72 to 3.78, to reach the final round, the 60th of his Top Fuel career.
Billy, the defending event champ, was appearing in his third final of the season, his most recent coming two event sago in Gainesville, Fla., where he lost to his son. The Capco patriarch started his run to the final by stopping Clay Millican with a 3.71, then powered to a 3.74 to defeat Top Fuel’s winningest driver, Tony Schumacher.
Billy then assured an all-Capco final round and gave his son a big boost in his bid for a third straight title by beating second-place Doug Kalitta, who smoked the tires 300 feet into his run and could only watch Torrence race to the finish line with a 3.745.