The rise to the top hasn’t exactly gone the way that Steve Torrence had envisioned it. As a teenager in the late 1990s, Torrence was named the 1999 South Central Division Rookie-of-the-Year. That led him to high hopes for what the rest of his drag racing career could evolve into. Unfortunately, he had a different battle on his hands in 2000. Torrence, was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s lymphoma just one year after the Rookie of the Year triumph. But, he vowed to not let this stop him from his end goal, an NHRA championship.
According to his website, after months in the hospital, receiving both chemotherapy and radiation treatments, Steve was able to overcome the disease. Steve considers it “The greatest victory I have ever won.”
In 2001, he’d return back to the drag strip, trying to pick up where he left off. He’d do just that, with five years later, being in the big show at the Top Fuel level as a wide eyed 22-year old rookie. By 2010, he was in the top 10 of the points standings.
But, at that point, he decided to fight another challenge, this time not life threatening. After five years racing for other teams, now it was time to start his own.
In 2011, a family owned Torrence Racing was formed and ready for competition. Six years into it, the 2017 Mello Yellow NHRA Drag Racing season has been his one best yet.
Torrence, had eight career Top Fuel victories entering this season. In the first 13 races this year, he already has won five events himself. He’s also made the final round in seven of the 13 races this year too.
He first took over the points lead at Bristol and has since not given it back.
Now, in an off week, he hopes to come out of the break in full force, looking to win his fourth event in the last five races next weekend in the 38th annual Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals.
This is the feel good story of the year in NHRA competition and one that’s worth watching. From a quick rise to stardom then with a rare cancer fight, back to stardom to starting his own team to finally seeing it all come to fruition this season.