Charlotte II: Melanie Troxel preview

Back from Europe, Troxel to drive Funny Car and Pro Mod in Charlotte CHARLOTTE (Sept. 14) -- Globetrotting superstar drag racer Melanie Troxel has returned from England and her third FIA Drag Racing Championship event of the 2010 season just in...

Back from Europe, Troxel to drive Funny Car and Pro Mod in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE (Sept. 14) -- Globetrotting superstar drag racer Melanie Troxel has returned from England and her third FIA Drag Racing Championship event of the 2010 season just in time for this weekend's third annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals at zMax Dragway, where she will race in both Funny Car and Pro Mod.

Troxel was top qualifier at last weekend's FIA Final at historic Santa Pod Raceway and was looking to add a second win to her European endeavors but was sidelined in the semifinals by parts failure. Never one to dwell on the past, Troxel immediately began talking about this weekend's big race in the heart of NASCAR country.

"We may not be in the Countdown field (in her Funny Car) but we're just as focused on having a successful outing as any other team," Troxel said. "We added Richard Hogan to our crew chief braintrust and we're very optimistic about getting out there with a new program that everyone on the team is excited about.

"We have a definite agenda. The idea of running Indy and Charlotte without a major sponsor on the car was to get the entire Funny Car program tuned up for when we do get to the In-N-Out markets in Dallas, Las Vegas, and Southern California."

Troxel only flies In-N-Out Burger colors on her Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car in markets where the West Coast-based company has restaurants. Charlotte is not one of those markets.

"In the long term we're working on next year when the plan is to run all the events and be a contender for the championship," Troxel said. "But just because we're not in the Countdown doesn't mean the pressure isn't on, or that we're not trying to win. We've got a program we need to work on and sponsors we have to keep happy. We're full steam ahead to get this program together."

In Pro Mod, the class she also ran on the FIA series, Troxel is a real threat to win any event she enters in her In-N-Out Burger Camaro. She led the points in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series earlier this season on this side of the pond and won the 25th annual Nitrolympx at Hockenheimring in Germany on Aug 15.

"The Pro Mod cars are so much fun to drive," Troxel said. "They are angry little racecars and you never completely know what they're going to do. We've had a blast running the NHRA races and just as much fun in Europe. Without question, Pro Mod is the most popular drag racing class around the world and it's neat to be a part of its growth.

"Al Billes is the best tuner in Pro Mod, bar none. I always feel like I have a chance with this team that Roger Burgess has assembled. We want for nothing."

-source: r2b2 racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Al Billes , Roger Burgess