Gainesville: Melanie Troxel Saturday report

It's Melanie versus Ashley in first round again GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- For the second time in as many events, the NHRA Full Throttle Series only two female Funny Car drivers are squaring off in the first round of a national ...

It's Melanie versus Ashley in first round again

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 13) -- For the second time in as many events, the NHRA Full Throttle Series only two female Funny Car drivers are squaring off in the first round of a national event.

Melanie Troxel will pit her Roger Burgess-owned Dodge Charger Funny Car against Ashley Force Hood's Ford Mustang in the first round of Sunday's eliminations at the 41st Tire Kingdom Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

It's the same matchup from the Phoenix race last month, which Force Hood won by a fraction. Troxel is starting from the 12th position after a best lap of 4.144 at 305.56 mph, Force Hood from the fifth spot after a 4.081 at 312.44 mph.

"Running against Ashley is fun because that car really runs well, so it's great competition," Troxel said. "We're going to need to pick up our game. We raced them in the last race and she got the best of us; now it's our turn to take them out."

Troxel said she's feeling more and more confident because she sees the gains her Funny Car program is making each race.

"That last run we were hoping to put up a 4.10, but a 4.14 and a 4.15 are the best runs we've made so far this year," Troxel said. "If we can pick up a couple of hundredths every race we go to, we'll be looking pretty good."

Troxel has more than just Force Hood to worry about on Sunday. She's also running the In-N-Out Burger '63 Corvette in Pro Mod. Troxel qualified third on the ladder early Saturday afternoon and defeated Chris King in the opening round of eliminations, which were run in the evening. She ran a 5.901-second lap at 247.70 mph to King's 5.945 at 241.41 mph.

"It's a very consistent car and it's been driving nice," Troxel said. "(Crew chief) Bob Newberry has been doing the majority of the tuning on my car and he's been giving me a tune-up that seems to go down the track every time.

"Since I'm doing double duty this weekend and jumping back and forth between the cars, it's nice to not have to worry what either car is going to do."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Ashley Force , Melanie Troxel , Roger Burgess