Brainerd: Melanie Troxel preview

TROXEL GETS BREATHER, READY TO START UP AGAIN IN BRAINERD BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2005) - Melanie Troxel and the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel team welcomed the week off after the final event of the three-race Western Swing two weekends...

TROXEL GETS BREATHER, READY TO START UP AGAIN IN BRAINERD

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 10, 2005) - Melanie Troxel and the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel team welcomed the week off after the final event of the three-race Western Swing two weekends ago in Sonoma, Calif. It gave them time to regroup after a whirlwind debut to the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series just before the first race of the Swing in Denver.

With three back-to-back events completed by the nine-team Don Schumacher Racing's latest addition, Troxel and the team are refreshed and eager to get back on track at the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals this weekend at Brainerd Int'l Raceway.

"I'd never run top Fuel in Brainerd but have been to the track quite a bit with my dad when he was racing," said the 32-year-old from Indianapolis who returned mid-season to the team for which she drove in 2000.

"I have some history with the track driving in the Alcohol Dragster class, but have not had the kind of success that I would like here, so I'm looking forward to the opportunity to turn that around.

"I've always enjoyed coming to this track. It's one of the more unique tracks on the circuit, as far as the location is concerned. It's kind of out in the wilderness."

No major changes were made during the brief time off, added Troxel. "We haven't had any huge changes within the team, but we are still making some small changes in personnel. We had some people helping out on the car who were just pitching in for a short period of time because they had other commitments to other teams, so we're replacing and bringing in new people. We're still trying to come up with the final group of people who will be permanently on the team.

"More than anything I'm hoping that this week off has given us all a chance to regroup a little bit and maybe just get caught up, because things were just so crazy over the Western Swing because we debuted the car in a matter of weeks heading into it. Maybe we're ahead of the game a little bit and hopefully we'll avoid some of those teething problems that have been our downfall the last couple of races."

Troxel has qualified for each of these three events, and the car's performance has improved each time. She is still, however, looking for her first round win.

"It's so hard to say at any given race what's going to happen," she said. "Ultimately, the plan is to go out and win races yet this year. We would love it if that happened here in Brainerd, but if not here, we will continue to work on our program. We've done well, we've qualified, we've made improvements at every race. But at the very least I think we expect to win a round or two at this event."

-dsr-

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher