NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence delivers blow to the face of rival, apologizes




November 17, 2019 04:23 PM

NHRA Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence delivers blow to the face of rival, apologizes

Tempers flare during the NHRA Mello Yello Series season finale at Pomona

Susan Wade



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Steve Torrence, left, shows rival Cameron Ferre that he’s none too happy after their first-round race on Sunday.

NHRA Mello Yello Drag Racing Series Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence was roundly booed by the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona crowd Sunday after he gave first-round opponent Cameron Ferre a vicious open-hand shove to the face during the NHRA Finals eliminations. He apologized publicly after his round 2 victory.
Torrence defeated the rookie but took offense at the way Ferre staged his dragster at the beginning of their run on the 1,000-foot Southern California course. When the two drivers got out of their cars at the end of the racetrack, Torrence told Ferre, “You act like a bitch, you get treated like one” and delivered a shove to Ferre’s face that snapped Ferre’s head backward violently.
Following his second-round victory over closest challenger Brittany Force, Torrence said, “I had to get my head out of my butt. I apologize to each and every fan out there, everybody who has supported me. I got to go find Cameron and apologize to him. Tensions are high, and there’s a lot of crap going on. I’ve been in his shoes where you go up there to win and you might not have the best car but you do everything you can on the starting line. With everything going on — and racing for the kid at home who lost his life — there’s no excuse to act that way. I apologize. I’m grateful for the team, and it kind of just soils the day. I’m sorry to every one of you guys.”

NHRA/National Dragster

Steve Torrence won his first-round match on Sunday.

Fans booed Torrence as he traveled down the return road back to the pits to prepare for his most critical round of the season, the championship-defining one against closest challenger Brittany Force.
Immediately following the incident, Ferre said, “Everybody, there you go. NHRA, hope you’re happy with your potential NHRA Mello Yello champion that has to come out and try to punch somebody who’s trying to chase the dream. I used to be a big fan of his. I just lost all respect for him. Just because I went in deep [into the staging beams], you’ve got to come out here and punch me?
“I’m just the same size as him. Let’s rattle. He’s from Texas. I’m from H.B. (Huntington Beach, California). Let’s go. H.B. Badboys, here we come,” Ferre said.
Veteran Top Fuel racer Cory McClenathan, who officially is retired following his failure to qualify, said from the sidelines, “It’ an eternity when you’re there with the clutch out and waiting to see what goes on. Back in the day, I did that with [Don ‘The Snake’] Prudhomme. Probably not the best time. And [legendary starter] Buster Couch stopped me and said, ‘I don’t ever want to see you do that again.’ So don’t be so quick to judge, because when you’re in the race car, three or four seconds is an eternity when you’re trying to win a championship. Stevie will calm down. They’re both just kids. It’s bad timing.”

Things are getting heated at the @AAASoCal #NHRAFinals! Watch the action on @FS1 at 4p ET! pic.twitter.com/NJO9iKQ15b— #NHRA (@NHRA) November 17, 2019

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