JOLIET, IL – May 16, 2023 – (Motor Sports NewsWire) – The last time Steve Torrence was at Route 66 Raceway, he was in the middle of one of the most impressive stretches in his Top Fuel career, which is saying something considering the tremendous success he’s enjoyed as a four-time Top Fuel champion.
The NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series returns to Chicago for the first time since 2019 for this weekend’s Gerber Collision & Glass NHRA Route 66 Nationals presented by PEAK Performance at Route 66 Raceway, and Torrence is the most recent winner in the 11,000-horsepower nitro category.
He rolled through Chicago four years ago, extended a win streak that hit five straight victories and wins in an incredible eight of nine-race span. It helped cement his second straight world title at the time and gave him plenty of good memories at the fan-favorite facility. Back after four years, Torrence, who is the current points leader but looking for his first win in 2023 in his Capco Contractors dragster, is ready to pick up right where he left off.
“Lots of good memories from Chicago,” Torrence said. “I know things change but Hoagie and Bobby (crew chiefs Richard Hogan and Bobby Lagana Jr.) should have some good data to work with and I think we’re all glad to be back.”
Torrence (Top Fuel), Tommy Johnson Jr. (Funny Car), Deric Kramer (Pro Stock) and Matt Smith (Pro Stock Motorcycle) all won the most recent race in 2019 and this year’s event will be on Fox Sports 1 (FS1). Along with eliminations on Sunday, the sixth event of 2023 is loaded with special events on Saturday, including the Pro Stock All-Star Callout, as well as the #2Fast2Tasty Mission NHRA Challenge in both nitro classes and Pro Stock Motorcycle.
Torrence has been a model of consistency so far this year, advancing to the final round at three of the first five events. That’s given the Texan the early-season points lead, and a victory is the only thing missing thus far. But the 53-time event winner knows just how difficult it is to win in Top Fuel these days.
Along with defending world champion Brittany Force, Torrence will have a loaded field to compete against in NHRA’s return to Chicago, including Justin Ashley, who has a pair of wins this year, Charlotte winner Austin Prock, Leah Pruett, Antron Brown, who won in Las Vegas, Tony Schumacher, Doug Kalitta and Gainesville winner Mike Salinas.
But Torrence remains impressed at how his team operates, giving him a standout…