Date published: August 17, 2012
Lynsi Torres * Glendora, Calif. * Top Sportsman * '70 Barracuda
The attraction of large engines and quick elapsed times in a full-bodied car has made Top Sportsman one of the quickestgrowing categories within the NHRA spectrum, and one of the newest members of the class, Lynsi Torres, has already shown great promise in her first two events with her Flying Dutchman Racing '70 Barracuda.
Working with her husband and tuner, veteran Division 7 campaigner Val Torres Jr., Lynsi made her Top Sportsman debut at the Division 7 NHRA Lucas Oil Drag Racing Series event in Sonoma by running as quick as 7.20 and going two rounds, and she followed up a week later with a 7.14 best and going three rounds at the NHRA Sonoma Nationals.
With Val already racing a Top Dragster this year, the pair has formed a new Top Sportsman-Top Dragster husband-wife team. "I really love driving this car," said Lynsi. "While we plan to continue racing in Super Gas, I really like being able to go all out on a run without using a throttle stop. It's just so much more exciting."
Lynsi started going to the drag races at the age of 2 and began competing 12 years ago with her first street car, a '69 Camaro. "It ran in the 14s and was way too slow," said Lynsi, "so I switched to my dad's '68 Charger with a 440-cid wedge, which put me in the 11s."
In 2004, Lynsi earned her Super Gas license in her father's blue '69 Dart, which she also drove in the C/G class with considerable success at nostalgia races, such as the March Meet and the California Hot Rod Reunion. She then moved to a gray '69 Dart with a 572-cid Indy Cylinder Head wedge, with which she qualified No. 1 at a pair of nostalgia events while running in B/G. She later switched to an '84 Camaro with a Reher-Morrison 588-cid to race in both Super Gas and Super Comp. Val drove that car to a Super Gas victory at the 2011 Division 4 event in Houston, and Lynsi won with it at the Division 7 race in Phoenix this year.
Still looking for yet an even quicker ride, Lynsi decided to leap into Top Sportsman. She and Val looked at various cars that were for sale and ended up purchasing a '70 Barracuda that was built by Jeffers Pro Cars. A new 706-cid engine was built by Tracy Dennis of Sunset Racecraftfor Top Sportsman applications, and Lynsi was thrilled with the combination. "I love Mopars, and Val is very much into Chevys, so a Mopar body with a Chevy engine was the perfect package," she said. "I told him that it's like our baby. My father's family is from Holland, and the car had an orange paint scheme, which is the national color for Holland, and that made it ideal for the family's Flying Dutchman Racing theme."
Even though she had gone as quick as 8.50 with her Camaro without the throttle stop, she said that she felt a big difference in power while making her pre-Sonoma licensing runs, especially with her first launch offthe line. "After a couple of halftrack passes, I started making full runs, the best of which was a 7.46," said Lynsi.
"It was really encouraging to get those roundwins right away," she said of her successful debut performances at back-to-back events in Sonoma. "I kissed the car and thanked Jesus every time I won. My father passed away when I was 17, and I like to think that he's watching me from above."