Steve Torrence breaks NHRA victory drought at Brainerd

BRAINERD, Minn. (AP) — Four-time defending Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence raced to his first victory of the season Sunday, defending his event win at Brainerd International Raceway in the 40th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.

Beating eight-time season champ Tony Schumacher in the final round, Torrence picked up his 52nd victory — and first since November – with a run of 3.866 seconds at 322.04 mph.

“When you’ve had the success and the dominance we’ve had, it’s difficult to not have that. You just have to grit and dig through it,” Torrence said. “(But) these Capco boys, they’re bad to the bone. We’ve shown it time and time again. We didn’t forget how to win but, dang, it sure felt like it.

“I have all the confidence and the faith in the world in this team because that car is always bad to the bone. Maybe we’re getting our stuff together at the right time because we’re charging for that (fifth title).”

Bob Tasca III won in Funny Car for the third time in four races. He edged six-time Brainerd winner Ron Capps with a 3.942 at 329.42 in a Ford Mustang.

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