Melanie Troxel joins teammate Ray Commisso at Grand Bend, Martin IHRA races What does a woman who has won just about everything there is in drag racing do for an encore? Keep winning more, of course. And that is exactly what Pro ...
Melanie Troxel joins teammate Ray Commisso at Grand Bend, Martin IHRA races
What does a woman who has won just about everything there is in drag racing do for an encore?
Keep winning more, of course.
And that is exactly what Pro Modified driver Melanie Troxel intends to do as she looks to add another victory in yet another drag racing class to her resume at the next two IHRA Nitro Jam national events at Grand Bend and Martin later this month.
"I know everybody on the team is looking forward to going up there. We have heard a lot of great things about Grand Bend and Martin and we are excited to be a part of both," Troxel said.
Already holding wins in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, one of only 14 drivers in the history of the sport to do so, Troxel will look to add a win in yet another series when she makes her second career start behind the wheel of her supercharged "Voodoo" Pro Modified car July 17-19 at the MOPAR Canadian Nationals in Grand Bend, Ontario, Canada.
She also intends to run at the IHRA Northern Nationals at U.S. 131 Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan two weeks later.
"It will be fun going to a few new tracks and to get some more experience," Troxel said. "I am still getting used to these Pro Mod cars. They are quite a handful."
Troxel is a five-time winner with the National Hot Rod Association, claiming four wins in Top Fuel and one in Funny Car before switching over to Pro Modified this year.
Among her many accomplishments includes being named the 2006 United Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year and being nominated for Driver of the Year after going to the finals at the first five events of the '06 season on her way to finishing fourth in points in Top Fuel.
Over the course of her career she has claimed five wins and 11 runner-up finishes and will be looking to add an Ironman to her Wally collection from behind the wheel of her alcohol-burning supercharged '63 Corvette later this month.
"My dad won at least one if not a couple of different IHRA races and I have always seen his trophy room showing off his stuff and it would absolutely be a great opportunity to kind of add that to the family mantle," Troxel said.
A win would also give Troxel a few bragging rights in her own home as she admits to a bit of competition between herself and husband Tommy Johnson Jr.
"My husband Tommy and I have a bit of a rivalry going as to who has more wins in more classes. I think we are tied right now, but I hope to change that," Troxel said. "We are both competing in a few different classes this year, kind of seeing who can be the first one to have more wins in more categories.
"That will give me some household bragging rights, I think."
Troxel made her Pro Modified debut at Englishtown in June as a part of the Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge, qualifying 10th before being eliminated in the first round.
Now she will take that experience and try to maneuver her "Voodoo" machine to a much better showing later this month.
"The two qualifying passes we made in Englishtown were actually my first two passes to the finish line so it was kind of a relief to get those out of the way and get the car to the finish line," Troxel said. "It was a big relief for me to get the event out of the way and get in some full passes. The car didn't run quite as well as we would have liked, but we know what it is capable of.
"Our other two R2B2 cars ran great. Roger (Burgess) ran well and Raymond (Commisso) ran terrific that weekend so we know the performance is there. We just need more passes on this car and certainly more experience wouldn't hurt."
Not only was Englishtown Troxel's first race behind the wheel of a Pro Modified, but it was her first time in many years in a car with a short wheelbase and a suspension -- a big stretch from the 300 mph nitro machines she had been fighting down the quarter mile over the past few years.
"These cars are entirely different than the nitro cars and really every car you race has its own personality. There are quite a few things that set these cars apart," Troxel said. "Beside the fact that it has a short wheelbase, I can't even remember the last time I drove something with a suspension and that adds a whole different level to what you have to get used to in the car.
"The suspension just really makes the car react differently, especially when the car gets in trouble a little bit. And these cars are definitely known to get in trouble."
Troxel will join R2B2 racing teammate Ray Commisso at both events as the two Al Billes powered cars look to take on points leader and defending world champion Kenny Lang, IHRA legend and Edmonton winner Ed Hoover and a collection of others at two of the largest events IHRA events on the Nitro Jam circuit.
"I am looking forward to the next two events and I am looking forward to coming back to the IHRA. I really love racing with the IHRA," Commisso said.
Commisso, who set the new IHRA speed mark earlier this season at over 246 miles per hour, will be looking for his second IHRA victory of the year and third total, also claiming a victory at the Get Screened America Pro Mod Challenge at Englishtown last month.
"I attribute a lot of the success we have had to Al Billes drilling all of his knowledge into my head over the past four years. It also helps being involved with a great sponsor and great friend in regards to R2B2 Motors and Roger Burgess," Commisso said. "It is the environment I am in right now with Al Billes and the team. You know how the saying goes, if you surround yourself with the best you will become the best and that is the situation I am in right now.
"I couldn't ask for a better deal. It really is a dream come true."
A Toronto native, Commisso would love nothing more than to continue his success at his home track next weekend.
"I am really looking forward to it. It is our home race; it is a great facility and a great track with a beautiful beach just five minutes away. I love going there," Commisso said. "We are going to have a lot of people there that weekend and I am looking forward to racing in front of my friends and family. It is always good to come home and try to do your best."