Faulty fitting sidelines Troxel in semis of FIA Finals

NORTHAMPTON, England (Sept. 12) -- American drag racing star Melanie Troxel exited Sunday's FIA Finals at Santa Pod Raceway in the semifinal round of Pro Mod when a oil line fitting prevented her from making a run against German Bruno Bader.

Troxel soundly beat Robert Joosten and Andy Robinson in the first two elimination rounds and was the prohibitive favorite against Bader, but her R2B2 Racing Camaro was trailing oil during her prerace burnout procedure and she was forced to shut off and give Bader the bye run.

"Unfortunately things like that happen in drag racing," Troxel said. "Even with the best maintenance program you can't help parts from failing at times. It's a bummer for the guys and for all the fans. We came over to win the race and show everyone some great passes and we just didn't reach our ultimate goal this time through.

"We still had a great time here and were treated so well by everyone, from the guy's on our teammate Michael Gullqvist's crew to our fellow racers and, of course, the English fans. It's been a memorable experience from start to finish."

Troxel's weekend got off to a rocky start when they had engine trouble warming up their car for what turned out to be Friday's lone qualifying session. But the mishap produced an expected bonus when her fellow Pro Mod racers rose to the occasion and offered parts and help to get her back up to speed.

"It was really neat to experience the camaraderie and acceptance we got from the other teams, which really showed through when we needed help on Friday," Troxel said. "It's just like it is in the states -- when one of your fellow racers needs help, even if you're fighting them for the points, you still help each other out."

Without a moment's rest, Troxel will be exiting the United Kingdom and flying back to the USA in time for next weekend's NHRA National event at zMax Dragway in Charlotte. Troxel will be competing in both her R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car and her In-N-Out Burger Camaro Pro Mod machine.

The car she raced in Europe, which carried Gullqvist to victory and both ends of the FIA record in Mantorp, Sweden, and Troxel to a win in Hockenheim, Germany, is being shipped back to Atlanta via Kalitta Air.

-source: r2b2