It ’ s a Wednesday afternoon , which means Steve Torrence is just a couple hours away from heading home from his office at the family business , Capco Contractors , where he ’ s the operations manager and an estimator along with his father and the company ’ s founder , Billy Torrence . Steve has been here since early this morning , around 5:45 , putting in his hours so he can justify jetting off and burning nitro this weekend . ¶ “ It ’ s no different than that race team ,” Torrence says of his work at Capco . “ It ’ s a family-run business – on a much larger scale – but it ’ s what I do . I ’ ve had two jobs in my life : pipelining and driving a race car , and driving a race car has never paid that good . It ’ s something you take pride in . Just as competitive as I am in racing , we are in business as well .”
Billy started the company in 1995 with just a dozen employees , a small office , and a job site trailer . Since then , the Torrence family has grown Capco Contractors into one of the largest pipeline contracting firms in their part of Texas . They have anywhere from 300-500 employees working on projects at a time , and the father-son duo of Billy and Steve oversee it all . When he ’ s not in the office , Steve is usually out in the field , where he started working in middle school and high school .
“ I ’ d get out of school for a week or two at the first of summer and at the end of summer , then I worked at Capco the rest of the summer ,” Torrence remembers . “ That would save up money , and that would be my spending money for a while . I learned to appreciate and learned to work and learned work ethic and how to manage my money . Just so many life lessons .”
Fans see the Steve Torrence that flies into races on the family ’ s private jet , then flies back home Sunday evening , often toting a Wally and a blue “ event winner ” baseball cap . But they don ’ t see the hard work that Torrence and his family put in to earn those privileges . Some fans simply ignore his background because they ’ re envious of the success Torrence has found on and off the track .
“ I walked out of a racetrack one time , and I heard some people behind me walking , and they go , ‘ There ’ s that Steve Torrence . He ’ s just a spoiledass rich kid .’ I just laughed . Like dude , I just got off of an airplane – yes , it was our personal jet – but I went to work this morning , got my shit done , got on the airplane , and came here . What did you do today ? I didn ’ t say that , but that ’ s what I ’ m thinking . This guy doesn ’ t even know me .”
WHILE IT MIGHT LOOK FRUSTRATING FROM THE OUTSIDE , TORRENCE INSISTS HE AND HIS TEAM HAVE REMAINED POSITIVE THROUGH A SEASON THAT DIDN ’ T SEE THEM REACH THE WINNER ’ S CIRCLE UNTIL AUGUST .
98 | Drag Illustrated | DragIllustrated . com Issue 178