Torrence best in Top Fuel qualifying in Baytown

BAYTOWN, Texas — Steve Torrence took the No. 1 spot in Top Fuel qualifying Saturday at the final NHRA SpringNationals, moving past Brittany Force at Houston Raceway Park.

The track that hosted its first national event in 1988 is closing after the event to make room for Katoen Natie’s expanding port facility.

Torrence had a 3.693-second run at 323.66 mph for his first No. 1 of the season and 32nd overall. The Texan has won the last four season titles.

“I knew we could have a good pass, but I didn’t know if it would be enough to go to the top,” Torrence said. “To go No. 1, that was great for us. It’s a great confidence-booster for our guys and tomorrow is anyone’s game, but I think we’ve got a pretty good shot at it. It would be a very special thing for us to win this final race in Houston.”

Ron Capps topped the Funny Car field, Camrie Caruso was the fastest in Pro Stock, and Karen Stoffer led the Pro Stock Motorcycle ladder.

Capps’ Friday run of 3.864 at 326.16 from Friday in a Dodge Charger held up, giving the defending season champion his third No. 1 qualifier of the season.

Caruso picked up her first No. 1 qualifier in just her fifth career start with a 6.547 at 209.39 on Friday in a Chevrolet Camaro. Stoffer had a 6.738 at 200.35 a Suzuki, improving on her top time from Friday.

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