NHRA's Steve Torrence finds himself top qualifier again in Englishtown

NHRA's Steve Torrence finds himself top qualifier again in Englishtown

Published Jun. 11, 2016 9:08 p.m. ET

If only qualifying and eliminations were on the same day, Steve Torrence would be a very happy man.

Torrence captured his fifth 2016 No. 1 qualifying performance on Saturday at the NHRA Summernationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park in Englishtown, NJ.

Ron Capps (Funny Car), Jason Line (Pro Stock) and Eddie Krawiec all maintained their spots atop the leaderboard headed into Sunday's final eliminations atop their respective divisions.

Of those five times he's qualified No. 1, Torrence has only won once. Torrence has been no slouch reaching the finals three times including last weekend's NHRA New England Nationals.


“I had no expectations of the car coming out this year and running as well as it has,” said Torrence, who stands second place in the championship points. “I had five No. 1 qualifiers coming into this season, and we’ve had five in this season already. So far it’s been a storybook season, and we’re just going to try and maintain that consistency.”

Capps established himself as the driver to beat from the onset, recording a track record 3.870 elapsed time at 318.62 in the opening session. The NAPA Auto Parts-sponsored driver is riding a wave of success early in the season with three No. 1 qualifying efforts and two wins in three final rounds.

“It feels good,” said Capps, who rides a streak of 12-consecutive three-second runs into Sunday's eliminations. “It’s been great, and I love the horse I get to ride right now. It’s fun but I’ve been around long enough doing this that you don’t try to expect anything or get too confident or cocky, so we’ll just keep going a little bit at a time.”

The question remains headed into Sunday's eliminations. Who will stop KB Racing on Sunday?

Beating them will be a tall order considering the three-car team from Mooresville, NC, has led every 2016 qualifying session, and won every race.

Line ended Saturday's qualifying with the quickest elapsed time recorded in the electronic fuel injected era with a 6.519 at 212.56. A five-time winner in 2016, Line's performance was his fifth No. 1 qualifier of the season.

“We definitely learned some things today, and I think we’ll have a good tune up for tomorrow,” said Line. “I’m not going to trade with anybody else. My car is really good right now.”

Krawiec has been the class of the Pro Stock Motorcycle division in 2016 reaching all three final rounds and qualifying No. 1 in three of four events thus far.

Krawiec added to his impressive season with a 6.783 elapsed time at 195.53 miles per hour to secure his 30th top qualifying effort.

“Our goal coming into today was to learn,” said Krawiec, who leads the points standings. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to use that data that we got today to go some rounds tomorrow; one run at a time and have fun doing it.”

Eliminations will begin Sunday at 11 a.m. at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. Coverage will begin on FS1 at 4:30 p.m. ET.


Tracy Renck is a Senior Writer for CompetitionPlus.com, a leading independent online drag racing magazine, since 1999. For the latest in dragster news worldwide, visit www.competitionplus.com or follow on Twitter @competitionplus