Baytown: Melanie Troxel Saturday notes

Traction Trouble Keeps Troxel on Sidelines Tire Smoke Bane of Qualifying Results for Spring Nationals HOUSTON, Texas, March 29, 2008 -- The race results haven't been what Melanie and the ProCare Rx Dodge Funny Car team are seeking, but the NHRA...

Traction Trouble Keeps Troxel on Sidelines
Tire Smoke Bane of Qualifying Results for Spring Nationals

HOUSTON, Texas, March 29, 2008 -- The race results haven't been what Melanie and the ProCare Rx Dodge Funny Car team are seeking, but the NHRA POWERade Series season is only four races old and things should be changing soon.

The team will be on the sidelines Sunday during the O'Reilly Spring Nationals at Houston Raceway Park, but they won't be idle. They will be preparing for what Troxel says will be a busy test schedule on Monday.

Traction problems prevented her from making a full-throttle run on any of her four attempts. Her best time was 5.942 seconds at 211.20 mph. "We have a combination of two things going on," said Troxel, of Avon, Ind. "One of them is a rookie driver that still is trying to learn some things on the car, learn what I should be doing and what I shouldn't be doing and how I like the car set up.

"And on the other side, it's the car. We've really struggled with the change they made over the winter to the weight in the cars and probably the nitro percentage a little bit, so it's combination of the two things. We go somewhere and lose a couple (qualifying) runs to rain and the car doesn't go down the track. And then when the car does go down the track, I let the car get away from me.

"It's kind of like the problem we faced here," Troxel continued "We struggled with the tune-up and then when we when we do get one pass that's good enough to get qualified I haven't been getting the job done."

She was forced by tire smoke to abort her first Friday qualifying out attempt and again on Saturday's initial outing, stopping the timers in 6.706 and 6.439 seconds, respectively. She pedaled the throttle trying to get out of tire spin on the last run, settling for a 5.942 at 211.20 mph.

But the one that did get away was on Friday night when the car hooked up and had good early (computer) numbers. But the car moved to the left and then made a hard moved to the centerline and crossed it, disqualifying the run.

The mood remains upbeat. And everyone is looking forward to Monday testing where the plan is to focus on both the driver getting comfortable and the crew solving problems. Their next race is at Las Vegas, April 10-13.

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel