Indianapolis: Melanie Troxel final summary

MELANIE TROXEL RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN INDY CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) - Melanie Troxel entered final eliminations in today's U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis with a great shot at winning her first U.S. Nationals....

MELANIE TROXEL RACES TO QUARTERFINALS IN INDY

CLERMONT, Ind. (Sept. 4, 2006) - Melanie Troxel entered final eliminations in today's U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park at Indianapolis with a great shot at winning her first U.S. Nationals. She qualified the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster No. 5, demonstrating that she had a solidly fast and consistent race car all weekend at the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' premier event.

The local Avon, Ind., resident breezed past Alan Bradshaw in the first round with a 4.527-second pass at 326.71 mph, then matched up against Rod Fuller in the quarterfinals. She led Fuller at the 1000-ft. mark on the quarter-mile, but a slight wiggle while losing traction resulted in a 4.613/306.46 pass at the stripe. It was not enough to overcome Fuller's winning 4.578/324.20.

"We were ahead of Rod, then out somewhere around 1000 feet it smoked the tires and got on the rev-limiter and started eating up the motor," said Troxel. "The car was running really well. We knew the second round would be in the middle of the day, and probably on the worst track conditions we would see.

"We were concerned early in the run about not overpowering the race track, and we made it through that very well. It caught us completely off guard. We didn't expect to have a problem like that. So, we'll look at the computer to figure out why that happened. It's not where we expected to have a problem on the trace track.

"You can lose a race and never see the other driver. But when you go all the way down and don't see him, then you get a good feeling thinking you have it. It wasn't until past 1000 feet that he pulled around a little bit. It's very frustrating because we had a good race car."

Fourth in Top Fuel rankings, Troxel had a chance to gain needed ground on leader Doug Kalitta after he was knocked out in the opening round. "This was a big opportunity for everyone behind Doug. We did make up a little ground, but we missed an opportunity to step up and make up some major ground in the points."

Troxel is now 140 points behind No. 1 Kalitta.

"We're disappointed, but we still have five races to go," she added.

Next up is the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Pa., Sept. 15-17.

-credit: dsr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Melanie Troxel , Alan Bradshaw , Rod Fuller