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Steve Torrence races to fourth straight win to open NHRA playoffs

CONCORD, N.C. -- Steve Torrence raced to his fourth straight Top Fuel victory to open the NHRA playoffs on Sunday in the Carolina Nationals.

Torrence beat defending series champion Brittany Force with a 3.703-second run at 329.67 mph. The first Top Fuel driver to win the first four races of the Countdown to the Championship, he has nine victories this season and 25 overall.

"It's been truly unbelievable for us to go out and accomplish what we've done," Torrence said. "We're in the middle of this thing, and it's truly remarkable. I did my job today, but it's a team, and it takes the whole village to make this machine work. I couldn't be more proud of what those guys are doing. They're pushing me to the front, and it's pretty special to be part of."

Ron Capps won in Funny Car, Jason Line in Pro Stock and Matt Smith in Pro Stock Motorcycle.

Capps raced to his third victory of the year and 61st overall, topping J.R. Todd in the final with a 3.890 at 331.20 in a Dodge Charger R/T.

Line won for the first time this season and 48th overall. He beat Tanner Gray with a 6.531 at 211.89 in a Chevrolet Camaro. Smith took over the points lead with his third victory of the year and 21st overall, edging Chip Ellis with a 6.830 at 196.64 on an EBR.