During his run that started during the 2017 NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series season, Top Fuel star Steve Torrence has 38 victories and three consecutive championships. However, none of those victories have come at Brainerd International Raceway, the site of this weekend’s 39th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
In fact, it’s the only track on the NHRA tour where Torrence doesn’t have a victory, something the current points leader will try to change at the fan-favorite facility.
“We just never have been able to put everything together,” said Torrence, who is also looking for his first-ever final round at Brainerd. “We’ve run well. I think we qualified second in the last two races (2018 and 2019) and I know we’ve been to the semifinals a couple times (2008 and 2018). I’m glad to be back, though. I think as a group we respond pretty well to challenges like this. With (crew chiefs) Richard Hogan, Bobby Lagana and the rest of the Capco Boys behind me, I never go up there thinking I’m not going to win no matter what the numbers say. I know we’ve got a car that can win, and we just have to go out and do it.”
Leah Pruett (Top Fuel) and Ron Capps (Funny Car) were the winners of the 2019 event. Torrence is currently at 46 career Top Fuel wins, and will be the heavy favorite to claim a fourth straight world title.
Funny Car’s John Force has a long history of success in Brainerd, winning an incredible 11 times. Coming off a victory last weekend in Topeka, the Funny Car points leader will look to win in Brainerd for the first time since 2007. To do so, he’ll have to get by the likes of Topeka runner-up J.R. Todd, Pomona winner Capps, who has six Brainerd victories, defending world champ Matt Hagan, Bob Tasca III, who has two wins in 2021, Robert Hight, Cruz Pedregon, Alexis DeJoria and Tim Wilkerson.
To purchase general-admission or reserved seats, call 866-444-4455. Tickets also are available online at www.brainerdraceway.com. Kids 12 and under are free with a paid adult. For more information about the NHRA visit www.NHRA.com.