Torrence at provisional No. 1 in Seattle
Steve Torrence en route to Top Fuel’s tentative No. 1 position. (NHRA photo)
KENT, Wash. — Top Fuel’s four-time reigning world champion Steve Torrence took the provisional top spot at the NHRA’s first race in Seattle since 2019, taking first place Friday at the 33rd annual Flav- R-Pac NHRA Northwest Nationals at Pacific Raceway.
Bob Tasca III (Funny Car) and Erica Enders (Pro Stock) are also the No. 1 provisional qualifiers at Race 13 of 22 races in the 2022 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season and the final leg of three NHRA Western Swing races. .
Torrence clocked 3.819 seconds at 321.50 mph in his 11,000 horsepower Capco Contractors dragster as he aims to qualify for No. 1 for the third time this season. It’s been three years since the NHRA visited Pacific Raceways and Torrence is after its first win of the 2022 season as the team continues to build into championship form at what could be the perfect time.
“We were very happy to have a nice clean run and our guys were happy with that,” said Torrence, who won in Seattle 10 years ago. “It’s a good place to build and it’s good to be back here. We love coming here and enjoyed it very much. The fans are so awesome and appreciate us being here so much. We are getting there and I see the confidence coming back. Guys just pick on that and I have all the faith in the world in those guys at Capco.
Shawn Langdon continued to run well, taking second place with a run of 3.848 at 315.64, while eight-time world champion Tony Schumacher is on course for his best qualifying performance of the season, taking third. up after falling from 3.850 to 316.67.
Tasca kept up his Funny Car momentum Friday in Seattle, leaping to the top with an impressive 3.965-319.82 run in his Motorcraft/Quick Lane 11,000 horsepower Ford Mustang. It would be Tasca’s first No. 1 qualifier of the season if he holds and the eighth of his career, as the veteran picked up where he left off after a spectacular performance last weekend in Sonoma en route towards victory. Tasca will be looking to maintain that this weekend and earn his first career win at Pacific Raceways.
“What I liked about this race is that the guys predicted it,” Tasca said. “When you get to that level of confidence, you become a dangerous team. I feel like we should be able to get it back (Saturday). We worked really hard to get the car to those numbers. Sonoma was really important for us, and we have a really good command of the car at the moment. We’re a very confident group heading into this weekend and I’m delighted with the performance of the car. No.1 in qualifying would be really important for us.
Alexis DeJoria made the other three-second run in the opening qualifying session, going 3.994 to 313.95, while John Force, who finished second a week ago, went 4.001 to 311.92 . Force is the defending winner of the event, earning his 150th career win in the 2019 race.
Enders continued to ride in Pro Stock, delivering a 6.608-209.26 run in his Melling Performance/Elite Motorsports Chevrolet Camaro. That puts the points leader and four-time world champion in contention for her fourth No. 1 spot of the season and 27th of her career, also setting the tone for another strong weekend. She has won six times this season, including last weekend in Sonoma, and will be looking for her first win in Seattle in 10 years this weekend. Enders also became the first driver to qualify for the championship countdown.
“It was definitely a great race right out of the box,” said Enders, who has six wins this year. “With these conditions you have to drive the car completely differently. The conditions are very different, but I give all the credit to my guys. They are the best in the business. It’s tricky in the heat, but that’s where my guys experience comes in. There’s definitely more to the race car and it’s cool to be back here. It’s an awesome track and a beautiful part of the country. We had a start fantastic season and we have no intention of letting go.
Reigning world champion Greg Anderson, who fell to Enders in the final round last week, missed out on top spot in speed, dropping an identical 6.608 to 207.11. His KB Racing teammate Kyle Koretsky is third after a run of 6.630 at 208.17.