Gainesville: Melanie Troxel final report

Troxel tops Force Hood in highlight reel classic GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14) -- Melanie Troxel was quick to exact her revenge on fellow female Funny Car racer Ashley Force Hood, beating her friendly rival in a wild first-round tilt at...

Troxel tops Force Hood in highlight reel classic

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 14) -- Melanie Troxel was quick to exact her revenge on fellow female Funny Car racer Ashley Force Hood, beating her friendly rival in a wild first-round tilt at Gainesville Raceway where Troxel got very close to the left-side retaining wall before pulling out the victory.

The win evens the season score between the two after Force Hood's victory over Troxel at the NHRA Full Throttle tour's last stop two weeks ago in Phoenix. Overall, Troxel is 2-1 versus Force Hood, the daughter of 14-time world champion John Force.

It took some work to turn on the win light as both women's cars lost traction almost immediately into their runs. The two battled hard to regain traction, getting on and off the throttle several times each with Troxel's car swerving ever closer to the wall each time. Once she mashed the gas for the final time, she was so close to the concrete that officials had to check to make sure she didn't hit, which would have disqualified her. In the end, they determined the run was legit and she was awarded the win.

"That was the second time I was really close to that left-hand wall," Troxel said, referring to a similar looking pass she had during qualifying on Saturday. "Fortunately for us it was close but not on the wall. It wasn't pretty but any time you can get a win, there's no complaining.

"It was our first round win of the year and we ran quicker than we ever have this weekend. There's a natural tendency for racers to want more, but we've made improvements off our last race, which is the goal we set when we came in."

Troxel next faced two-time champion Tony Pedregon and raced straight down the lane, but her cautious 4.164 at 307.30 mph in her unsponsored machine wasn't quite enough for Pedregon's 4.113 at 310.27 mph.

"After we smoked the tires against Ashley I know Lance didn't want to do that again," Troxel said. "We didn't have lane choice so we're assuming that lane wasn't as good as the other. We did what we thought it would take to get down that lane and we did go from A-to-B, which was good because we weren't going to learn anything by going back out there and smoking the tires. It just wasn't enough to beat Tony."

In Pro Mod, Troxel followed up Saturday night's win over Chip King with a tough quarterfinal loss to Kenny Lang after she spun the tires of her In-N-Out Burger Corvette. Lang went on to post a 5.883 at 244.43 mph.

"We have four cars here from the R2B2 camp but I was the first one on the track today so we didn't have much data," Troxel said. "It's unfortunate but it was very close to holding the track and getting down there under power.

"It was our first race of the year with the Pro Mod car and overall we're really happy with how it went. "It's a lot of work driving two cars at the same event but I had a blast. I'm doing it several more times this year and now I know what to expect."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , John Force , Chip King , Ashley Force , Melanie Troxel , Kenny Lang