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Torrence is atop the Top Fuel field in Chicago

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By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Capco Contractors Top Fuel Dragster pilot Steve Torrence is the No. 1 qualifier on Saturday at the 21st annual JEGS Route 66 NHRA Nationals at Route 66 Raceway in Joliet, Ill. Torrence set both ends of the track record on his second qualifying run on Friday night.

Torrence went 3.677 at 333.58 mph during the pass. He is the defending event winner, who picked up his first No. 1 qualifier of the season.

Steve Torrence during Saturday qualifying (Photo by the NHRA)

Steve Torrence during Saturday qualifying (Photo by the NHRA)

“Yesterday had some pretty optimal conditions, which allowed for us to have that strong run, but it is definitely a huge confidence booster to go into race day knowing my team has a strong handle on the tune-up,” Torrence said. “I think we are getting really close to having the most consistent car we have ever had, and it’s fun to be driving this race car right now.”

Torrence has two wins this season. He won at the DENSO Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway on April 8th. He then won again at the NGK Spark Plugs NHRA Four-Wide Nationals at zMAX Dragway on April 29th.

He will face No. 16 qualifier, Luigi Novelli in the first-round of eliminations on Sunday. Novelli went 3.983 at 273.05 mph.

Reigning Top Fuel champion, Brittany Force, was the No. 2 qualifier in her Advance Auto Parts Top Fuel Dragster — new for the month of June after spending the first part of the season with Monster Energy — after she went 3.721 at 329.34 mph. She’ll face No. 15 qualifier, Kyle Wurtzel, in the first-round of eliminations after he went 3.973 at 294.88 mph.

“The Sarge” Tony Schumacher, who is racing near his hometown this weekend, is the No. 3 qualifier following his 3.749 at 329.99 mph pass in his U.S. Army Dragster. He’ll face part-time and Torrence’s father Billy in the second Capco Contractors Top Fuel dragster after he went 3.900 at 301.87 mph.

Clay Millican, who won the last national event for the second-time in his NHRA career, is the No. 4 qualifier after he went 3.753 at 326.48 mph. He’ll face part-timer Pat Dakin, who went 3.841 at 323.74 mph.

T.J. Zizzo, who is an Illinois native, is the No. 5 qualifier in his Rustoleum Dragster after he went 3.771 at 326.48 mph. He’ll face full-time driver, Scott Palmer, in the first-round of eliminations after he went 3.839 at 326.24 mph.

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