Taekwondo black belt. Texas oil businessman. Cancer survivor. Actual cowboy. NHRA Top Fuel World Champion.
Steve Torrence might just be Texas' answer to Tony Stark, given these impressive credentials. Imagine being a successful, sharp businessman by day, making fast decisions and great connections. On the weekends, you hop into your Top Fuel dragster as the owner and sole driver for your own racing team, and break records. During the off-season, you stay busy moving cattle at your own ranch and competing in Team Roping events at Texas rodeos. And don't forget -- your gorgeous wife and adorable daughter are right by your side.
It may seem like Steve Torrence is living the actual dream many of us had as children, but his journey has been offset by plenty of potholes and trouble.
Who Is Steve Torrence?
Steve Torrence was born April 17, 1983 in Kilgore, Texas, where he maintains his home base at Torrence Land & Cattle Co. to this day. His father Billy is the founder and CEO of Capco Contractors, the oil pipeline contracting company run by the Torrence family to this day. You might have heard of Billy Torrence, since he's done a little drag racing himself. "Mama Kay" Torrence, who met Billy when she was just 16, also comes from a drag racing family, though she has confirmed she prefers to cheer her family on from the sidelines.
When he was just a teenager, Torrence battled Hodgkins lymphoma, and won. He's also come out on top of a heart attack in 2016, and a 300 MPH crash at the Texas Motorplex in 2017.
It's clear that motorsports are a family affair for the Torrences, which is why Capco Constructors is a proud sponsor of the Torrence Racing team Top Fuel Dragster. With Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr. leading the Capco Boys -- a nickname fondly bestowed upon the crew team -- the team has experienced plenty of success, especially for a one-car team.
He's a 4-Time Top Fuel Champion
Steve Torrence demonstrated that he has plenty of prowess on the track when he became Top Alcohol Dragster Champion in 2005. But since switching to Top Fuel, he's gone on to make NHRA history.
Torrence began competing regularly in the NHRA Mello Yellow Series (now known as the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series) in 2009. Inspired by Tony Schumacher's legendary six consecutive Top Fuel Championship wins, spanning from 2004 to 2009, the Texan team has been putting in the hard work since then to capture as many wins as possible. And they certainly have.
In November 2021, Torrence took his dragster down the strip for a final round win over his buddy Antron Brown at the 56th annual NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona, adding a fourth consecutive NHRA world championship to his name. Though he was outdriven in the semifinals of the Countdown to the Championship, he pulled through in the finals with a three-time victory while other racers failed to capture more than one win each.
Of course, sweeping the Countdown is old hat for Torrence. In 2018, he became the only driver in the NHRA to win all six playoff races.
The club meetings for four-time consecutive NHRA champions are pretty small, since only seven drivers in the series have pulled off the same feat. Schumacher, also in the Top Fuel division, leads the pack with six wins. Other members include Pro Stock drivers Bob Glidden and Lee Shepherd and Funny Car drivers Don Prudhomme, Kenny Bernstein, and John Force.
What's Next for the World Champion?
So, after you've won 51 series races, four world championships, and you hold a fistful of coveted NHRA records?
For Steve Torrence, the answer is simple: keep on keeping on.
Prior to the Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol in October 2021, Capco Constructions Inc./Torrence Racing announced a technical alliance with Toyota for the 2022 Camping World Drag Racing Series season.
While the Torrence team has largely existed as a self-contained model, the addition of Toyota's TRD technology, engineering, and support is a very exciting proposition for Steve. He's also impressed by Toyota's family approach to racing.
Torrence Racing will be joining other impressive Toyota alliances, including Antron Brown Racing, Del Worsham's DC Motorsports, and Kalitta Motorsports.
How this new alliance will impact Torrence Racing's season results remains to be seen, but combining winning technology and a winning driver has all the earmarks of new world records to be set.
Here's hoping Steve Torrence lights up the track in 2022 with some next-level TRD racing!
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