Any crash you can walk away from, you consider that a good day. Walk away from a crash where you’re going 320 miles per hour? That is one hell of a good day. Walk away from that crash in one race and an engine blowing up and fire engulfing your cockpit in another? Someone is definitely watching over you.
That’s the experience NHRA Top Fuel driver Steve Torrence had Sunday in Texas. Torrence, one of drag racing’s top stars and the 2017 points leader, was competing in the AAA Texas Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex. In the 2nd round of eliminations, Torrence was racing against Richie Crampton when the left rear tire of his dragster exploded, sending him into the left guard wall.
“The Lord was looking out for us today,” Torrence said and reported by RaceDaySA.com. “I felt the tire go. The car went left and then right. After that first hit, though, when it knocked the front end off, I was just along for the ride.”
The video of the crash is pretty amazing. Torrence’s 300-inch wheelbase dragster was shredded, leaving little as he kept moving down the strip. When he finally came to a stop, Torrence jumped out and waved to the crowd that everything was ok.
“I can’t say enough about that Morgan Lucas chassis,” Torrence said. “The car did exactly what it was supposed to do in that situation.”
The topper? Torrence still won the race. The tire blew right after he crossed the finish line .0056 seconds ahead of Crampton.
But Torrence wasn’t done. His crew got his backup dragster ready for his semi-final face off against Brittany Force. Torrence got up to 323 miles per hour when the engine blew. Not just quit, but blew…flames shooting everywhere. The slo-motion video is incredible to watch as you see fire from the engine come up and surround the cockpit. Again, Torrence walked away unhurt. Didn’t win this time though.