An opening round victory in Sunday’s 56th Auto Club Finals at Auto Club Raceway propelled Steve Torrence to the 2021 Camping World tour championship and into exclusive company as one of only seven pro drivers to have won as many as four consecutive NHRA series titles.
After winning 10 of the 19 events preceding the Finals including a category-best two races during the playoffs, Torrence and his Capco Contractors dragster entered the season finale with a 105-point lead.
Racing from the No. 2 qualifying position from which he has won 19 times over his career and seven times this year alone, the 38-year-old Texan smothered the last hopes of Brittany Force, the only driver with a mathematical chance of overtaking him, when he won his first round race with Brandon Welch.
Torrence grabbed a slight lead at the start before stopping the timers in 3.769 seconds at a finish line speed of 326.00 miles per hour. Welch trailed at 3.877 seconds, 309.13 mph.
Dad and Capco teammate Billy Torrence applied an exclamation just two pair of cars later when he raced past Force to win in 3.730 seconds at 328.39 mph, setting up the possibility of an all-Torrence, all-Capco final round later in the day.
Torrence joins fellow Top Fuel driver Tony Schumacher, Funny Car drivers John Force, Don Prudhomme and Kenny Bernstein and Pro Stock drivers Bob Glidden and Lee Shepherd as the only drivers to have won four straight championships. He is the first to do so since Schumacher’s six-year run ended in 2009.
Steve Torrence Racing PR