TROXEL TAKES NO. 9 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Melanie Troxel had her hands full in qualifying for this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals, literally, as she overcame some sharp moves from the Skull Gear/Torco...
TROXEL TAKES NO. 9 IN CHICAGO QUALIFYING
JOLIET, Ill. (Oct. 1, 2005) - Melanie Troxel had her hands full in qualifying for this weekend's Ameriquest Mortgage NHRA Nationals, literally, as she overcame some sharp moves from the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel Dragster in two of the four qualifying sessions.
A solid, safe run in Friday night's session of 4.536 seconds, which produced her career-best speed of 326.95 mph, did land her in No. 9 at the end of qualifying.
In her first run on Friday, the car drifted to the left, and Troxel's driving experience luckily prevented the car from crossing the centerline, allowing her to post a 5.404/171.51 pass. In today's third session she experienced another wild ride as she managed to keep the sashaying car going relatively straight to a 5.064/195.28 pass.
The final qualifying round today resulted in a strong, straight pass down the quarter-mile and a 4.563/321.42 lap.
"We struggled all weekend with the way the car's reacting," she explained. "We thought we were being real aggressive with the tune-up and it was having some effect on the car and we're not entirely sure what it is. We tried putting a lot of front wing in it, putting weight on the front end, a lot of different things.
"We seem to find something and we try something a little bit different and we're back to where we were with the car moving around.
"But I think we have something to work with right now. We have two good, consistent set of numbers. We missed out a little bit on running something in the 4.40s Friday night, but I think we've got a car that will go out and be competitive on race day.
"In order to run good Friday night (in cooler conditions) you really need to get that first pass in and get the car qualified safely so that you can afford to go out and step on it in the night-time run. Unfortunately, we weren't able to do that from the way car was reacting out there. The smart thing to do was just go out (in the night session) and put a good number down, get qualified solidly in the field, and that's what we did."
Troxel faces Morgan Lucas in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.