NHRA's Melanie Troxel to race in England

Troxel to race at this weekend's FIA Main Event in England PODINGTON, England (May 27) -- Emboldened by Michael Gullqvist's recent victory in Atlanta, R2B2 Racing team owner Roger Burgess has sent megastar driver Melanie Troxel to England to ...

Troxel to race at this weekend's FIA Main Event in England

PODINGTON, England (May 27) -- Emboldened by Michael Gullqvist's recent victory in Atlanta, R2B2 Racing team owner Roger Burgess has sent megastar driver Melanie Troxel to England to compete at this weekend's FIA Main Event at Santa Pod Raceway.

"We announced the Worldwide Pro Mod Association this week and we're using the Santa Pod race to help spread the word in Europe," Burgess said. "Plus, we were so excited about Michael's win in Atlanta that we didn't want to lose the momentum within the team. Michael is our partner in the WWPMA and we wanted to show our support in his arena, and we couldn't have asked for a better race than the FIA season opener."

Burgess utilized Kalitta Air to ship the competitive '68 Camaro Pro Mod car that Gullqvist drove to a runner-up finish at this year's Gatornationals to Europe. The car arrived in Belgium earlier this week and has since cleared customs. It will now be trucked to England for this weekend's race and is expected to reach Santa Pod Raceway late Friday evening.

Team crew chief Al Billes joined Troxel and an entourage of mechanics and support personnel from Burgess' race shop in Duluth, Ga., and says he only needs a couple of hours to get the car ready to race. The first round of Pro Mod qualifying is slated to begin around noon GMT Saturday.

The FIA Main Event runs Saturday through Monday.

"This is going to be quite an experience," said Troxel, an early season point leader in her In-N-Out Corvette. "Michael tells me they get a huge turnout for Pro Mod, with more cars showing up for each race than any other class, and that the drivers are really serious about what they're doing. I'm looking forward to seeing how it's done over here.

"I think more than anything I'm excited about meeting the fans in England. I understand they get people from across Europe coming to this race and that it's usually a sellout situation so that will be very exciting for us."

According to Burgess, the team has sent enough equipment and personnel to contend for the title of the race. The R2B2 Racing crew will set-up adjacent to Gullqvist's team in the pits.

Robin Jackson, the press officer for the MSA British Drag Racing Championship, says Troxel's entry has thrilled European fans and racers alike.

"The message boards and chat rooms have been buzzing," Jackson said. "To have a well established NHRA star like Melanie Troxel joining the fray this side of the pond has really lifted the level of anticipation for this race to new heights. I expect she'll be kept quite busy by her base of supporters, which is undoubtedly growing by the minute.

"When her name showed up on the entry list a few days back the rumors just swirled out of control. Now that it's confirmed she's here and that she'll be racing, it should push ticket sales through the roof."

Troxel had to get approval from the FIA and NHRA to compete at the Main Event. There also was some question as to whether or not or car would arrive in time, leaving Burgess no choice but to wait until Thursday evening to announce his plans.

"We didn't know if we could pull it off," Burgess said. "Some things, like getting a racecar through customs, are out of our control. They can do it in 10 minutes or they can keep it for a week; it's up to the customs people. Fortunately for us, the great folks at Kalitta Air helped the process along and it appears we'll be racing this weekend.

"Now we just need to go out and have a good showing. Another win would be fantastic!"

-source: rodger burgess racing

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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Al Billes , Roger Burgess