TROXEL BECOMES FIRST WOMEN TO WIN IN TOP FUEL AND FUNNY CAR; SCHUMACHER, CONNOLLY ALSO WIN AT BRISTOL BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Melanie Troxel became the first woman in NHRA history to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car when she raced to the Funny Car...
TROXEL BECOMES FIRST WOMEN TO WIN IN TOP FUEL AND FUNNY CAR; SCHUMACHER, CONNOLLY ALSO WIN AT BRISTOL
BRISTOL, Tenn. -- Melanie Troxel became the first woman in NHRA history to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car when she raced to the Funny Car victory Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals.
Tony Schumacher and Dave Connolly also won in their respective categories at Bristol Dragway in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series event.
Troxel, who earned four Top Fuel victories prior to switching to Funny Car this season, joined her husband Tommy Johnson as one of 14 drivers in NHRA history to earn victories in both nitro categories when she powered her ProCare Rx Dodge Charger to a 5.066 at 310.27 to defeat rookie Mike Neff in the final round. She is the second female to win in Funny Car in NHRA history, following Ashley Force's gender-breaking victory last month in Atlanta.
"You know I haven't even given that any thought," said Troxel, referring to being one of fourteen drivers to get a win in both of NHRA's nitro classes. "We were so focused on going out there and getting some round wins and getting a win. That's kind of like icing on the cake."
Tim Wilkerson remained in the POWERade Series points lead in Funny Car, 23 points ahead of Ashley Force, who lost to Troxel in the semis in the first all-female Funny Car elimination round in NHRA history.
Defending POWERade Series world champion Schumacher raced his U.S. Army dragster to his third win of the season in three consecutive final round appearances. Schumacher's run of 4.555 at 306.81 against runner-up Larry Dixon's U.S. Smokeless dragster gave him his second win at Bristol Dragway.
"Through the conditions we had all weekend, this was the perfect conditions to race in," said Schumacher. "When you race someone that's up ahead in the points it's just a huge points spread. That was just a huge round."
Schumacher strengthened his points lead over second-place Antron Brown by 131 points. Brown lost in the second round to Hillary Will.
In Pro Stock, Dave Connolly defeated Greg Stanfield in his second consecutive final round appearance, driving his Charter Communications Chevy Cobalt to a 6.731 win at 204.70 mph.
"It makes you appreciate everything that much more," said Connolly, who missed the first three races of the season. "We got pretty lucky last weekend to go to the final round and then to come out here and I'm taking cones out here in qualifying and I would've never thought we would've made it to the winners circle, but we did."
Former world champion Greg Anderson's second round win was enough to push him to the top of the point standings, two points ahead of teammate Jason Line.
The NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series continues with the 20th annual O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals, May 30-June 1 at Heartland Park Topeka in Topeka, Kan.