NHRA Media Day Luncheon with Antron Brown, Steve Torrence & J.R. Todd

By Al Heisley - Photos By David Allio, NHRA Staff

After an awesome 2017 season when most of his competitors and fans were sure he’d win the number 1 spot, Steve Torrence came up short for the title. But Torrence, driver of the CAPCO Racing Top Fuel dragster, is back in command again this year. His four-race streak makes his lead even greater than it was at this point last year. He only needs to win one or possibly two of the remaining 8 rounds (2 races) of competition left to clinch this year’s Championship. Another scenario would have second place Clay Millican, who is 169 points behind Torrence, lose a round or maybe two to have the same result for Torrence.

During lunch Torrence, superstitiously told me that he’s been here before and isn’t ready to think he’s sealed the deal. “We thought we might have had it last year and look what happened!”

Microphone in hand, Torrence’s good buddy, Antron Brown, laughed and cajoled him that he’d win the remainder of the races for him so not to worry. Only then did Steve Torrence relax with a big smile.

In another tight contest for the title of Funny Car Champion are John Force Racing’s Robert Hight and Kalitta Motorsports’ J.R. Todd. Hight, last years champ, has a mere 11-point lead heading into race day. That’s less than 1 round of racing and Ron Capps of Don Schumacher Racing is 109 point back in third place. A distant 6 rounds of racing out though possible.