POSTED: Wednesday, April 2, 2014 - 10:50pm
UPDATED: Thursday, April 3, 2014 - 10:46am
(KETK) - Kilgore, Tx — Steve Torrence from Kilgore has been drag racing since he was 15 years old, and last weekend he set a track speed record at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Although he did set that record in Vegas, he finished 3rd overall in the competition, and is third in overall points.
He says he's set to make a run at first, but this title chase pales in comparison to his five year battle with cancer, which he calls his greatest victory.
In 2000, when he was 17 years old, and had been racing for two years, Torrence was diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma.
"A huge curve ball thrown at you in life and to be able to persevere through that to beat cancer. I take everyday as a blessing, I go out on the race track and I try to put my best foot forward and in influence anybody," said Torrence.
Part of which is working out nearly every day., because although the drag racer appears to do all the work, it's the driver who takes the beating.
"We're experiencing over 5 G's in less than three and a half seconds, we're going 330 miles an hour in a thousand feet," said Torrence.
As the years have gone by, the 30 year old says he's seen significant growth in the sport.
"It's been huge for our sport, a lot of the younger fans are coming out we're beginning to see a younger demographic in drag racing across the board," said Torrence.
Among that younger demographic, are kids going through what he did when he was a teenager,
He says drag racing has given him a platform, to encourage them and others, to never give up.
"There's a light at the end of this tunnel for sure and I made it there, then you can too," said Torrence.
Torrence's next event will be in North Carolina starting on April 11th.