NHRA Top Fuel Champion Torrence To Return At Phoenix: Team Releases Statement Explaining Pomona Absence, Return To Series

NHRA Top Fuel Champion Torrence To Return At Phoenix: Team Releases Statement Explaining Pomona Absence, Return To Series

There were many questions surrounding the decision made by the Torrence family to park their Capco Racing team for the NHRA season opening Winternationals in Pomona, California that lead to rampant speculation on the internet and a flurry of theories relating to the reasons for their absence. The team has laid all of those theories and ideas to rest with the release of the below statement explaining their reason for skipping the first race and affirming that they’ll be back with the series when the 2020 NHRA Arizona Nationals are contested at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park in just under two weeks.

As a privately funded and operated team, the Capco organization has perhaps more flexibility than most to make the decisions the they best see fit for their group as they are not beholden to sponsor commitments. As you will read below, their absence in Pomona was a result of a dispute with the NHRA regarding the conditions and fine placed on driver Steve Torrence following his top end incident with fellow top fuel racer Cameron Ferre at the NHRA finals last November in Pomona.

As fans of the sport, we’re glad that Steve Torrence and his all-conquering team will be back in Arizona. We’ll see if the competition is ready for the return of the Texas racer and his band of talented crewmen. The full statement is below.

Here’s the full statement from the Capco Racing team regarding Pomona and their return

KILGORE, Texas — After a week of often ridiculous speculation, team owner Kay Torrence confirmed Monday that the one-and-only reason the Torrence Racing Top Fuel dragsters were absent from the season-opening 60th annual Lucas Oil Winternationals at Pomona, Calif., was the NHRA’s lack of urgency in acting upon the team’s appeal of sanctions related to an incident involving two-time Mello Yello Champion Steve Torrence.

“Us not being at Pomona had nothing to do with the new Countdown rules or Steve’s health or anything else that’s been said on the internet,” she emphasized.  “It was about trying to settle the appeal we filed with the NHRA on November the 29th.  We didn’t want any unresolved issues going into the new season, but we had trouble getting them to respond to our letter of appeal.

“By the time everything was settled, it was too late to get our equipment and crew members to Pomona in time to race,” she said.  “I just want to say to all the fans who have supported us, ‘we appreciate you and we look forward to seeing you all in Phoenix (at the Feb. 21-23 NHRA Arizona Nationals).’  We also want to give a big shout out and thank you to our sponsors and all the pipeliners across the country who support us.”

Although Steve Torrence was assessed a fine and penalty for a confrontation with rival Cameron Ferre that was shown during FOX TV’s coverage of last November’s Auto Club Finals, the amount of the fine and the stipulation that he attend anger management classes were disputed by Torrence Racing.

The incident occurred at the end of the racetrack following Torrence’s first round victory and came in the midst of a tense three-way points battle.  At issue was Ferre’s starting line etiquette as a driver not in contention for the championship.  One of the salient points raised by Torrence Racing was that the NHRA was complicit in creating a hostile environment by using an edited video clip that showed Torrence’s reaction to whatever had been the provocation but not the provocation itself.

Moreover, Torrence Racing took issue with the NHRA’s apparent hypocrisy in assessing penalties for what it deemed conduct detrimental to the sport and then using video clips of that very same behavior, ostensibly to attract new fans and viewers.

The fact that a penalty should have been imposed never was in dispute and Steve Torrence quickly accepted full responsibility for the incident to the extent that, during his acceptance speech at the Mello Yello Awards Banquet, he made a point to personally apologize to Ferre for over-reacting in a “heat of battle” situation.

The incident itself is one that both Torrence and Ferre publicly have said they wish to put behind them as both pursue their dreams in racing.  However, the NHRA’s continued use of the edited clip will make such a course exceedingly difficult.

Meanwhile, Torrence is just anxious to get back to work.

“I just want to get back with (Richard) Hogan, Bobby (Lagana Jr.) and the Capco Boys, get back in my race car and get back in the hunt,” said the 36-time Top Fuel winner.”

Team Capco has won the Arizona Nationals, contested at Wild Horse Pass Motorsports Park outside Phoenix, each of the last two years.  Steve won in 2018 and his dad, Billy, hoisted the trophy in 2019.


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30 thoughts on “NHRA Top Fuel Champion Torrence To Return At Phoenix: Team Releases Statement Explaining Pomona Absence, Return To Series

      1. Mike

        As I watched the race on tv, I\’m thinking somethings not right.
        Then I realized the was no little whiny \”man\” throwing a tantrum.
        And all was good

  1. KAM

    \”… the NHRA was complicit in creating a hostile environment by using an edited video clip that showed Torrence’s reaction…\”

    Come on, REALLY???

    1. John

      In the heat of the championship and acts like he did… should of been disqualified not fined who are you to say how another racer is to stage there car stay home you little mommas boy they dont need you

  2. Steve

    Go to anger MANAGEMENT pay the fine and get on with racing don\’t slap people in the face and be glad that kid wasn\’t someone else who may have put Steve on his ass GET OVER IT!!!!!!!

  3. Truckin' Ted

    Oh they’re still around, or at least that’s what the rumor mill says. Like yourself Egads, I haven’t spend a dime on them for over 10 years. My farts still last longer than a Top Fuel race.

  4. Dana R

    Torrence’s “apology” at the NHRA awards ceremony was phony. He only did it in hopes of NHRA lessening his punishment, which, in my opinion, wasn’t severe enough. Torrence is an egotistical spoiled LITTLE brat. He won the round and had ZERO reason to get mad at and confront Cameron Ferre. He felt like since he was God’s gift to NHRA, it was his place to teach Cameron a lesson. It’s past time for Torrence to get off his high horse and accept his fine and punishment like a man. NHRA should have punished him with the loss of enough points for him to lose his championship.

    1. Rob Chiarello

      Agreed I said that when it happened live when I was watching it, money has ruined all pro sports. Baseball was the last ok sport till they let Houston and Boston keep there WORLD series championships when they admitted they cheated, any Amateur sport gets stripped of there title they won by cheating. Its BULLSHIT!!!!

  5. MGBChuck

    I love watching a couple of nitro cars shake the ground and go ridiculously quick/fast (go to Sonoma every year). I do feel the NHRA should of ended S. Torrences season right after his incident ending his season/ championship right there. I hope he has a non/championship season and will joyfully root against him.(gleefully boo him at Sonoma)

  6. Rob Bennett

    After the assault Steve made at the finals and all of the hate directed at him you would have thought his family would have wanted it to go away. I guess not! By not attending the season opener because they were not happy with how NHRA addressed their appeal it has once again directed more focus and a lot more hate to him and his family. It again shows how his and his family care nothing about anyone but themselves. Once again this story will drag out for the next few races.

  7. Joe 77

    Who is he kidding, the amount of point he lost for not driving for the 1st event mean nothing, he\’ll make them up by the time the count down comes around. He should have been punished with POINTS (20) causing him to lose the championship. You lose points for a oil down but not for punching someone in the face. The NHRA is not the one that throw the punch so why shouldn\’t they show what kind of a coward he is. He showed his true colors. He better be careful the next person he throws a punch at may throw one back. LET\’S RACE

  8. Brian M Homan

    Hes crying about starting line etiquette when everybody in the N H R A does the exact same thing . He thinks hes the greatest racer in N H R A history and thinks everybody should bow down to him as if hes a God. He represents everything wrong In the N H R A today . TAKE YOUR FINE AND GO TO ANGER MANAGEMENT LIKE SUGGESTED AND SHUT UP AND RACE CRYBABY!!

  9. jstudhawk

    You people have not a clue. Have you any idea how much work, technology, time, lost sleep these people put into their craft. NHRA has moved the goal post all the time. Go back to the most points wins. I watch drag racing and when it is close I go. These people put MILLIONS of dollars into the economy for every city they go to. Time for the whiners to hit the road. Steve don\’t you change. HATERS WILL HATE.

  10. orange65

    I watched the event when it happened. The guy was unhappy about the way the other guy staged. The other guy did nothing wrong- staging games have been around forever. Each race is a competition. Every round counts to both drivers. No one should lie down for the other guy. And just because you are racing for a championship, the current round may mean more to the other guy than the championship means to you. Torrence was flat wrong. And his actions by skipping the Winternationals was proof he has the wrong attitude- regardless his justification.

  11. Patti Doffing

    I will never root for the Capco Team. Steve Torrence should of been disqualified immediately. The fine was a joke. NHRA messed this one up completely. I am a new fan of Cameron\’s. Steve has little man syndrome and should go get a regular job with Massey. He does not deserve to be a driver or part of any team. He embrassed his entire crew.

  12. Andrew Hammitt

    Evidently the comments being made here are from haters or just plain ignorance and don\’t know the NHRA there\’s been fights throughout the years nothing\’s been done slap on the wrist if that I\’m a die-hard capco fan and this does not change my opinion of Steve Torrence or Torrence racing one bit. yes it was a bit out of control but that\’s racing emotions are high and aiot on the line.Like these people on here talking crap about Torrence racing have never made an embarrassing mistake. Let\’s move on and just get back to racing that\’s what it\’s all about Torrence racing has NHRA has so everybody else needs to, that\’s just my opinion. A real NHRA fan for life.

  13. Thomas Bergschneider

    Steve Torrence should have been disqualified immediately after the blow was struck. Especially since it was done directly in front of a NHRA official there was no question of the offense. A lost championship would have made him grow up since his parents didn’t make him.

  14. Dale Knutson

    Leave the dude alone give me a break he is NHRA and you people are saying he doesn\’t need to be NHRA get a grip folks they spend their own money no sponsors no nothing Say what you want he is a Badd a** as long as he is in the sport all of you are just jealous and haters you\’re not there kiss My a** go team capco

  15. Craig

    Steve Torrence is a joke. He should have been disqualified. Period! As for the comment about NHRA slapping hands John Force was fined $10,000.00 for pushing an NHRA official out of the way , during an argument with the Pedregons at Indy. Know your facts or shut up. Steve Torrence will not be missed EVER!!

  16. John G

    The guy is just a crybaby the way he carried on when Brittany Force won the championship and now he\’s crying again hope he has learned from this but I doubt it he thinks he\’s God out there.

  17. Old School Race Fan

    What….you never saw a Pro Stock burndown…missed Force and Bazemore staredown at the finish line…didn\’t see Buster back em out ever. Just because you don\’t get your way….you gonna take the ball and go home Stevie. Who cares cry baby….you\’re just a rich kid that needs his an ass whippin. Try that shit with the Sarge and see who don\’t go to the trailer with a black eye! You always had an arrogant attitude from day 1…..you\’re not special so get over yourself little boy.

  18. Klz

    Torrance isn’t what’s wrong with The NHRA. The clowns running The sanctioning body is the problem. Look a the mini payouts they pay the racing teams for there performance. That’s the joke. You might be a judgmental person and blame Torrance for his attitude and behavior but he paid millions of this personal cash to fund your entertainment and that in its self take a unique person. So don’t blame him, when you should be thanking him. Blame the NHRA. They rip off all the so called professional racers by not paying them any real money and then double down by stealing sponsors away from the lucky few racers that can attract a sponsor to the sport. NHRA the sanctioning body is the joke here!

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