Indianapolis: Troxel makes her first Top fuel field

Indianapolis, Ind. (Sept. 3): Starting the day unqualified, Melanie Troxel took her new Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster to the top half of the field to qualify No. 6 for the 46th Annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana. Troxel's team,...

Indianapolis, Ind. (Sept. 3): Starting the day unqualified, Melanie Troxel took her new Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster to the top half of the field to qualify No. 6 for the 46th Annual U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis, Indiana.

Troxel's team, led by crew chief Dan Olson, struggled early in the week after experiencing ignition problems. In the first session of the day, Troxel was able to improve on her previous best with a 4.872 e.t. at 273.44 mph. Though they still failed to make the field, they seemed to have solved their problems.

"Melanie's car actually was on a better pass than Tony's (Schumacher-teammate of Troxel)," said crew chief Dan Olson.

"The right lane got us on that pass," added Olson referring to Troxel's tire smoke at the top end.

Knowing they had solved their earlier problems and knowing their final pass would be in the stronger lane, Troxel's team was concerned, but not worried that they would not qualify.

Troxel's final attempt ended with a 4.689 second pass at 313.37 mph to put her solidly in her first Top Fuel U.S. Nationals field.

"I knew once we got our problems straightened out that the car could run the numbers needed," said Troxel, "that was pretty close to our best last week in testing in this same lane."

Final eliminations are scheduled for 11am, with opening ceremonies starting at 10am. TNN will televise final eliminations. Check local listings for times.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel