Charlotte: Melanie Troxel Friday report

Troxel ticking off items on to-do list CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 26) -- Funny Car favorite Melanie Troxel opened the inaugural NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Friday with two competitive qualifying runs down zMax Dragway. By day's end, the world's ...

Troxel ticking off items on to-do list

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (March 26) -- Funny Car favorite Melanie Troxel opened the inaugural NHRA 4-Wide Nationals Friday with two competitive qualifying runs down zMax Dragway. By day's end, the world's quickest female racer was a solid eighth in the provisional field with a best of 4.105 at 303.23 mph in her unsponsored racecar.

"One of our ongoing goals is to improve at every race and we've already accomplished that so we're pretty happy in the R2B2 pit," Troxel said. "Now we're aiming for a run in the 4.0-second range and Lance (Larsen, tuner) seems to think we have plenty more in the car so maybe we can check that off the list next."

Troxel opened with a 4.154 at 304.19 mph, a run she says allowed her team to push a little harder in the evening round, which took place with ambient temperatures in the mid 50s.

"That was exactly the start we wanted because then we knew we had a decent run in the books so we could lean on it more tonight," Troxel said. "It got cold, almost too cold, but the car stayed in the groove and stuck to the track and I managed to get it to the other end."

The buzz throughout the racetrack was on four-wide racing, something NHRA officials are trying for the first time. This racetrack is the only one on tour with four lanes, which are actually configured as two side-by-side drag strips. To help with the staging process officials have added extra bulbs to the Christmas Tree so each pairing knows where the other two cars are in the prerace procedure.

"Well there hasn't been any major problems so far so I guess the experiment is going okay," Troxel said. "The biggest thing is you're forced to deal with four different personalities up there. It might be okay in qualifying but I'm not so sure about eliminations. If someone decides to hang someone else out, it could be trouble.

"It's bizarre to see all the lights. You really have to think about what you're doing and where the other cars are. We'll see how this all turns out Sunday."

Troxel's special paint scheme honoring the gold medal U.S. men's four-man bobsled team has been very well received. The team will visit Troxel and crew Saturday and take in nitro-powered drag racing from the starting line.

"They've been kind enough to show us their world," said Troxel, who won the fifth annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge in January, "and we're excited to show them ours."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel