Dallas: Melanie Troxel preview

Improved tune-up keeps Melanie Troxel on a winning route Changing a Funny Car tune-up isn't as difficult as catching a whale with a fishing rod, but it's not as easy as changing your car's spark plugs, either. More than one nitro Funny Car...

Improved tune-up keeps Melanie Troxel on a winning route

Changing a Funny Car tune-up isn't as difficult as catching a whale with a fishing rod, but it's not as easy as changing your car's spark plugs, either. More than one nitro Funny Car tuner has explained his tenuous task thusly: "There are so many things that can go wrong."

There is a fine line between success and not-so-successful.

Brian Corradi walks that line as crew chief/tuner of the R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car driven by Melanie Troxel. He and crew chief Mark Oswald recently made changes that picked up the car's performance. Troxel qualified sixth at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis on Labor Day weekend and advanced to the semifinals.

Last weekend at Charlotte, Troxel was in the top half of the starting line-up again at No. 7, but lost in the opening round when the car's tires lost traction.

And now Corradi's focus is on venerable Texas Motorplex, site of this weekend's O'Reilly Super Start Batteries Fall Nationals and drag racing's first all-concrete racing surface.

This will be Troxel's first visit since she moved into the Funny Car seat this season. It is where she made her first of 15 Top Fuel final rounds when she was runner-up to Cory McClenathan in 2000.

"The car is definitely running better since Brian and Mark changed things around," said Troxel. "It's just like changing any new parts we use because we have to run the car to get the data to see how well they all work. We just need more race-day runs on this tune-up.

"I still believe we are capable of winning another race this year."

A no-testing edict from NHRA -- to preserve supplies of nitromethane -- is hampering Corradi and his counterparts.

"We usually break in clutch discs during testing, but we haven't been able to do that," Corradi said, "and that bit us in the first round last week. I had to put in a different disc for the first round and it made the clutch more aggressive. That disc wouldn't have been in there if we tested. At least we know now."

-credit: r2b2

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cory McClenathan , Melanie Troxel