Gainesville: Melanie Troxel Friday report

Troxel shows off her quick side at Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 12) -- Pulling double duty for the first time in her career, popular pro Melanie Troxel started the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway...

Troxel shows off her quick side at Gatornationals

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 12) -- Pulling double duty for the first time in her career, popular pro Melanie Troxel started the 41st annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway by posting the second quickest Pro Mod pass of Friday's rain-shortened action. Troxel also earned a spot in Funny Car, finishing 10th overall in the one session NHRA managed to run after several rain showers.

"The first objective is to qualify the racecars and that thought is amplified by a million when you lose a round to rain," Troxel said. "So we're really pleased with this start because both cars are in the field no matter what happens tomorrow."

Troxel's Pro Mod run was the most impressive as she raced her In-N-Out Burger Corvette down the strip in 5.888 seconds at 236.71 mph. The run was just .001 seconds behind Day 1 leader Jay Payne.

"(Co-crew chief) Bob Newberry is feeling really good about the In-N-Out car right now," Troxel said. "He says we have a tune-up that's very agreeable to the changes he's making and the car has been going down the track every run, which is always a good thing. He thinks we have a car that can go some rounds."

The Pro Mod class has just one qualifying session left Saturday before action switches to eliminations, which begin with Round 1 Saturday night.

Troxel's ride in Funny Car was quite a bit more eventful than her Pro Mod pass as her Roger Burgess-owned Dodge Charger R/T made a move towards the retaining wall. Troxel stayed with it to the finish line and posted a 4.255 at 271.41 mph, although her time was two-tenths off the pace.

"It dropped a hole (cylinder) right at the hit and that drove me out of the groove," Troxel said. "I fought it all the way down and got as close to the wall as I've ever been but I didn't feel as though I needed to lift before the finish line. With some question marks lingering about the weather, I didn't want to chance it.

"They say it'll be warm and sunny from here on out so we should be able to get in two good runs tomorrow. That will help.

"It was an exciting day driving both cars. I'm tired, for sure, but pretty happy overall."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Melanie Troxel , Jay Payne , Roger Burgess