Drag Illustrated Issue 171, September / October 2021 - Page 10


Longtime Drag Illustrated subscribers might recognize that we ’ re big on putting people on the cover of the magazine . Other than exceptions like the Photo Annual or Buyer ’ s Guide issues , we make a point to put faces on the cover . After all , it ’ s the people that make this sport possible .

But there ’ s usually one face on the cover . Two is also fairly common , and maybe even three or four if it makes sense . But TEN faces ?! Absolutely unheard of when it comes to Drag Illustrated covers . Actually , it ’ s pretty rare when it comes to magazine covers in general . Even Rolling Stone , which has featured big bands and star casts of TV shows and movies , usually limits their covers to five or six people .
So we were in for a bit of a challenge when Bobby Lagana proposed that we feature Steve Torrence ’ s entire Top Fuel team on the cover rather than just him and his brother , Dom . We planned on featuring the Laganas because of their incredible story and equally impressive passion and dedication to drag racing . But the brothers didn ’ t feel right getting all the recognition rather than the whole group , which lined right up with one of our other reasons for featuring the Lagana brothers : they ’ re just good people .
After discussing all kinds of different ideas for how to include nearly a dozen people on the cover of a magazine , photographer Cole Rokosky and I headed out to Lucas Oil Raceway near Indianapolis , where the Capco Contractors team had just won the prestigious NHRA U . S . Nationals the day before . It was a Monday morning , and the team was performing routine maintenance before heading east to Maple Grove Raceway for the next stop on the NHRA Camping World Series tour .
Cole shot the cover image , with team leader Richard Hogan out in front and the rest of the team backing him , and spent another 45 minutes or so focusing on individual crew members performing their various duties throughout the pit area . He snapped Hogan in the trailer lounge reviewing data while a Western played on the TV in the background , as well as longtime crew members like Gary Pritchett and Justin Crosslin doing things like grinding clutch discs and checking over the chassis .
While I was watching all the guys work and talking with Bobby about the team dynamic , it was easy to see why this team has had so much success over the last few years . Each team member is clearly exceptionally talented at what they do . This is a team that has immense pride in what they do , and that shows in their performance . They very rarely make mistakes . Plus , they ’ re having fun . It ’ s easy to be in a good mood when you just won the biggest race of the year , but I got the impression that these guys are having fun whenever they ’ re at the track . Actually , I ’ m sure they ’ re having fun when they ’ re at the shop and when they ’ re going down the road to the next race , too . They ’ re all just so ate up with drag racing that it ’ s impossible not to have fun .
I hope readers find this team ’ s story to be relatable . This is a high-level , highly funded team operating at a dominant performance level , which doesn ’ t sound relatable , but it all comes down to a bunch of guys who love drag racing . Many of them have done whatever it takes to be involved , and they ’ re now enjoying the rewards that come with the work they ’ ve put in over the years . I ’ ll say I came away with a new level of respect for this group after spending just a short time with them , and I ’ m sure you will too after reading Josh Hachat ’ s cover story . DI
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Copyright © 2021 by Drag Illustrated Media , LLC . All rights reserved . Reproduction in whole or in part without permission is prohibited . Drag Illustrated is a registered trademark of Drag Illustrated Media , LLC . Printed and mailed by Royle Printing in Sun Prairie , WI .
Nate Van Wagnen Editor-in-Chief
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