Home » NHRA

Torrence Nabs Wally, Shot Of Confidence In N.C.

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, April 29 2019
Steve Torrence, bottom lane, drove to victory at the 4-Wide Nationals on Sunday. (RacinToday/HHP photo by Jim Fluharty)

By Deb Williams | Senior Writer

CONCORD, N.C. – NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence snared his first victory this season in Sunday’s NGK Spark Plugs 4-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway while five-time Pro Stock Motorcycle title holder Andrew Hines captured his 50th career win in an event that included a bizarre semifinal round.

Torrence’s 3.778-second E.T., 323.19-mph run not only gave him his 28th career victory, it also propelled him into the Top Fuel point lead. Torrence has now won four of the last five events at zMAX Dragway, a place where he recaptured his confidence.

“I haven’t been driving with the most confidence,” Torrence said after his third consecutive Four-Wide victory at Charlotte. “Maybe I have been driving on the defense instead of on the offense. So I changed my mindset. I just went out there and tried to do what I knew how to do instead of thinking about it. At Las Vegas, I let my mind get in front of my foot.

“We haven’t had the car we had in the Countdown (last year), but it’s not because of anything other than just trying some things and testing some stuff. It’s not been the way we wanted to start the season, but in the scheme of things we came in here third in the points so, obviously, we weren’t doing too bad. This morning, I woke up and I had a conversation with myself. I said, ‘We’re going to get this deal done.’”

And Torrence did get it done, claiming a victory on his dad’s 61st birthday.

Competing in the Pro Stock Motorcycle semifinal quad that experienced a power problem in the second Christmas tree were Hines, Angie Smith, Hector Arana and his son, Hector Arana Jr.

“Rolling up there to stage, I’m watching the Tree flicker in lane three,” said Hines, who was in lane two. “I didn’t know what the heck was going on. I thought somebody in lane three didn’t know where they were and they were moving back and forth. The next thing I know we’re all staged, so I turned the throttle before anybody else and the next thing I know my red light comes on. The red light came on with the yellow. That was very strange.

“There were lights coming on right and left. It looked like someone was getting pulled over by cops. There were blue lights flashing everywhere.”

Despite the strange situation, the four completed their run with Smith and Arana advancing to the final round. However, NHRA officials determined that since the stage light malfunctioned in Arana Jr.’s lane the four needed to redo their semifinal round. This time Smith and Arana each received a red light, allowing Hines and Arana Jr. to advance to the final round against Eddie Krawiec and Ryan Oehler. Hines, the No. 3 qualifier and PSM point leader, collected his second victory this season with an elapsed time of 6.831 seconds, 198.17 mph. Krawiec took the runner-up spot.

Hines said the decision to rerun the round was the first he had ever experienced in his career.

“I went low E.T. (6.825) in the new second round for the final and that paid dividends for how my bike’s been working,” said Hines, who now has made it to 11 final rounds at zMAX Dragway. “I was going to lane two because that’s where I’m happy and I’m comfortable.”

Hines’ lane two selection paid dividends as he edged Krawiec, who posted an E.T. of 6.858 seconds, 197.68 mph.

“We persevered in the heat, persevered with a hot engine, hot motorcycle,” said Hines, who has had the same crew throughout his career. “Even first-round eliminations (the motorcycle) had to get shut off, turned back on, restaged. There was no shortage of emotions flying through my head at every run up there in Four-Wide today.”

| Senior Writer, RacinToday.com Monday, April 29 2019
No Comment

Comments are closed.