NHRA Sunday results from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway

Steve Torrence is a stubborn, ditch-digging, pipe-laying Texan who was so determined that he would not allow the NHRA Top Fuel championship to slip away from him like he did on the final day of last season that he went on a merciless tear, stifling all of his competition in the Countdown.

The Capco Contractor Dragster driver used a 3.751-second, 326.32-mph 1,000-foot pass to win Sunday’s Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway about an hour after he had clinched that title that had eluded him less than a year ago. With that, Torrence extended his elimination-win streak to 20 rounds, sweeping five of the first six playoff races in unprecedented fashion to assure his team a $500,000 reward.

All that’s left for him to conquer is the Nov. 8-11 NHRA Finals at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona, Calif. In the final round Sunday, he sped away easily Leah Pritchett, whose sputtering start was symbolic of every Top Fuel racer who has tried to corral the Kilgore, Texas, native in his quest for satisfaction.

“It’s truly a blessing to accomplish what we’ve done. It’s nothing less than a miracle,” Torrence said. “It’s a lot of hard work. These Capco boys put in a lot of hours – more than what they should. But it’s difficult to beat people with heart.”

Torrence shared the winners circle with JR Todd (Funny Car), Bo Butner (Pro Stock), and Hector Arana Jr. (Pro Stock Motorcycle).

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