Indy ORP: Melanie Troxel preview

Melanie Troxel's new R2B2 Racing Funny Car Hopes to put on good show for hometown fans In a season that has had more ups and downs than an Empire State Building elevator operator on a busy day, Melanie Troxel sees a new day dawning about the...

Melanie Troxel's new R2B2 Racing Funny Car
Hopes to put on good show for hometown fans

In a season that has had more ups and downs than an Empire State Building elevator operator on a busy day, Melanie Troxel sees a new day dawning about the same time qualifying begins Friday for NHRA's oldest, most-revered race, the 54th Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Aug. 29-Sept. 1, at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

"We have a brand new team name -- R2B2 Racing -- and a new look for our Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car," said Troxel. "We hope this will be a good turnaround weekend in general."

It is perfect timing because this is the hometown event for Troxel and the R2B2 Racing team which is based in nearby Brownsburg, Ind. She resides in Avon, Ind., not far from Raceway Park. b^0x001cIt's the only time of the year we get to race and go home and sleep in our own bed," she added.

Troxel's R2B2 Racing teammate is Frank Hawley, driver of the Right Aid Pharmacy Dodge Charger R/T. He was runner-up at Reading, Pa., August 17.

"Hopefully we can build off the strong performance of Frank's car at Reading," Troxel said. "This is where having a two-car team is beneficial. We hope to get a fresh start."

Troxel's first season at the controls of the Funny Car did produce her fifth career victory (in May at Bristol, Tenn.) to add to her four wins in Top Fuel. She also became the 14th driver -- and first woman -- to win in both Top Fuel and Funny Car. Tommy Johnson Jr., her husband, also accomplished the rare feat.J

This is the last of NHRA's 18 regular-season races. The top 10 drivers advance to the six-race championship Countdown to 1. Troxel is 14th, but hopes to play a spoiler's role in the title chase.

-credit: r2b2

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Frank Hawley , Tommy Johnson Jr.