Salinas stops Torrence at 2019 Thunder Valley Nationals

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

The Capco Contractors dominance has ended. At least for now.

Mike Salinas defeated Steve Torrence in the Top Fuel final round at the 2019 NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tennessee. This is Salinas’ second win of the season.

Top Fuel Dragster pilot Mike Salinas after winning the Wally on Sunday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals
Mike Salinas after winning the Wally on Sunday at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

Salinas went 3.836 at 325.69 mph for the win. Torrence went 3.892 at 287.60 mph in the losing effort.

“I think today we had a little bit of luck and ended up running very decent. It came down to Alan Johnson and the crew — they just know how to run these cars,” said Salinas. “All of our parents are getting old, my father is going through this deal and he always raced cars. He raced circle track stuff and everything else when I was a kid so it’s really tough watching him go through this stuff. Now when he sees me sometimes he thinks I’m the gardener and sometimes he thinks I’m somebody else.

“It’s tough. My sister will tell me that sometimes he thinks he’s still racing and wants to know why the TV isn’t mentioning his name. It’s just really good that he’s still around and still happy. We’re going to have this trophy down there for him.”

With the loss, Torrence’s five race win streak has ended. He had won 22 straight rounds before the final round loss (five races in a row).

Before this final round, Torrence held a 7-1 advantage over Salinas. He also held a 1-0 advantage over Salinas in a prior final round.

Torrence had the starting line advantage, then lead until Salinas chased him down towards the finish line. The San Jose, California native won by 0.0177 seconds, or approx. 7 feet.

Salinas now has two Wally, which both have come this year.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.