Torrence takes provisional lead on Friday at the 2019 Lucas Oil Nationals

By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher

Steve Torrence is the provisional No. 1 qualifier on Friday at the 38th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals. He went 3.738 at 328.70 mph at Brainerd International Raceway in Brainerd, Minnesota.

Torrence picked up the provisional lead on the final pairing during the second qualifying pairing when he was competing against his father, who had the provisional lead following the first session. The younger Torrence is looking for his fourth No. 1 qualifier of the season.

Top Fuel Dragster pilot Steve Torrence racing on Friday at the 2019 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals
Steve Torrence racing on Friday at the 2019 Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals (Photo by the NHRA)

If his time is able to hold up on Saturday following potentially both qualifying sessions, it’ll be his 23rd No. 1 qualifier of his career.

“It was very special to go out there and be last pair of day with our two Capco cars,” said Torrence. “Whether it’s qualifying, or race day, or a final round that’s pretty neat. We saw Mike Salinas go a 3.74 in the right lane and thought that was pretty impressive. Then Hogie [crew chief Richard Hogan] got that smirk on his face and went in and started turning knobs in our car. That run didn’t feel as quick as what it ran. It felt good, but a little soft at the start. Normally, I can look up and see the scoreboard, but with the sun setting I couldn’t see it. I was surprised when they told me what it ran.”

“That was good, but we just have something to build on. It’s a good starting point. We’ve seen what can happen at this track and when conditions are right we can see 3.66s and 3.67s, and if the weather does what we think it will, you might see them [on Saturday].”

Mike Salinas is the provisional No. 2 qualifier. The San Jose, California native went 3.743 at 329.58 mph.

Leah Pritchett is the provisional No. 3 qualifier. The Avon, Indiana native went 3.756 at 325.53 mph.

Billy Torrence is the provisional No. 4 qualifier. The Kilgore, Texas native went 3.763 at 325.53 mph.

Clay Millican is the provisional No. 5 qualifier. The Drummonds, Tennessee native went 3.765 at 318.77 mph.

The rest of the provisional field looked like this:

6) Doug Kalitta, 3.768, 325.92 mph

7) Austin Prock, 3.769, 323.35 mph

8) Scott Palmer, 3.771, 316.60 mph

9) Terry McMillen, 3.794, 323.66 mph

10) Richie Crampton, 3.814, 314.17 mph

11) Antron Brown, 3.849, 322.58 mph

12) Brittany Force, 3.906, 274.11 mph

13) Kyle Wurtzel, 3.962, 267.75 mph

14) Luigi Novelli, 4.171, 244.03 mph

15) Terry Totten, 4.366, 189.12 mph

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