But Torrence, who has four career victories, hasn’t been as fortunate in recent weeks, winning just three rounds over the past eight races. Torrence, though, has not stressed about the struggles, pointing to strong qualifying positions (sixth or better at six of the past races) and a solid showing last weekend in Sonoma.
Torrence won his first round matchup in Wine Country and also enters a stretch of races where he’s had recent success. That includes Seattle, where Torrence will look to start his upswing and capture his first win in more than a year.
“It’s very important to end the Western Swing on a good note,” Torrence said. “The Countdown is tough enough without going in flat. The important things are a good starting position and going in there with momentum. That makes these next three races really important but we’ve won before in Seattle, we’ve been to the semifinals at Brainerd and we were runner-up last year at Indy so we’re going to tracks where we have a pretty good comfort level. We had a bad run in the Countdown last year, but we’re racing a little smarter this time so I feel pretty good.”
Of course, Torrence will also have to deal with an impressive Top Fuel field that includes Tony Schumacher, who has four wins at Pacific Raceways, five-time season winner Antron Brown, points leader Doug Kalitta, reigning Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon, Denver winner J.R. Todd, Sonoma winner Khalid alBalooshi, two-time season winner Spencer Massey, rookie Richie Crampton and three-time runner-up Brittany Force.
Recalling his previous win in Seattle, Torrence remembers beating a host of Top Fuel stars en route to the victory, which could provide all the confidence he needs for more success at Pacific Raceways.
“What I remember is we beat the two Al-Anabi cars (Khalid alBalooshi and Shawn Langdon) and Doug (Kalitta),” Torrence said. “That’s a pretty good day’s work, but the deal is those are still the cars you have to beat. We have a fast hot rod, but there are a lot of fast hot rods out there right now. It’s tough. I think when we won (the 2012 Seattle race), we won a couple of ugly rounds and that hasn’t happened a lot this year, at least not yet.”