Indianapolis: Melaine Troxel makes official start

Indianapolis, Ind. (Sept. 1): After sitting on the sidelines for four months, Colorado native, Melanie Troxel made the 46th Annual U.S. Nationals the backdrop for her return to Top Fuel competition. Troxel started the first day of qualifying...

Indianapolis, Ind. (Sept. 1): After sitting on the sidelines for four months, Colorado native, Melanie Troxel made the 46th Annual U.S. Nationals the backdrop for her return to Top Fuel competition.

Troxel started the first day of qualifying by sharing the podium with team owner, Don Schumacher, to officially announce her as the driver of the Schumacher-owned Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster. Schumacher announced Troxel's multiyear contract to drive the second Don Schumacher Racing Top Fuel dragster as teammate to son and current Top Fuel Champion, Tony Schumacher.

"I am very excited to be back driving," said Troxel, "to have the chance to be a part of a multicar team and especially a championship team, is more than I could ask for."

A veteran to NHRA drag racing, Troxel finally had to suit up to make her first U.S. Nationals Top Fuel start. With several new crew members and a Dan Olson tune-up, Troxel ran 4.875 at 264.70 mph to capture the No. 13 position.

"The car started spinning the tires down track and put a cylinder out," Troxel explained, "we ran a .68 last week in the heat of the day, so we know we can get down the track."

"We have an all new program with new people. We can expect some growing pains, but we can also expect to win some rounds this year."

Troxel is scheduled to have four more qualifying attempts to improve her position for Monday's final eliminations.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher