Las Vegas: Melanie Troxel final report

Clutch Malfunction Slows Troxel in Opening Round at Las Vegas A balky clutch system activated earlier than expected Sunday in the first round of the SummitRacing.com Nationals and prevented Melanie Troxel and the Simayof Jewelers Dodge...

Clutch Malfunction Slows Troxel in Opening Round at Las Vegas

A balky clutch system  activated earlier than expected Sunday in the first
round of the  SummitRacing.com Nationals and prevented Melanie Troxel and the
Simayof Jewelers  Dodge Charger R/T team from winning their first Funny Car
elimination round of  the season.

A hot, sunny day at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway created difficult track conditions for Funny Car tuners and resulted in a lot of tire smoke and relatively few side-by-side races.

Troxel's Charger launched hard from the starting line and recorded the third- best 60-foot time of the round, but soon afterward, the tires spun and lost traction, forcing her to abort the run. She was timed in 7.111 seconds at 150.08 mph while Bob Tasca III lit the win light in 5.000 seconds at 310.91 mph.

"We made a lot of progress here during the weekend," said Troxel. "We went down the racetrack on three of our four qualifying runs, which is great because we qualified for the race, but we still have some problems we have to sort out."

When crew chiefs Brian Corradi and  Mark Oswald later scrutinized the run on
the computer, they "found something in  the clutch system that was
inconsistent," she said.  "While it was causing  the car to be a little slower than we
thought it should have been during  qualifying, we made an adjustment for that
(for the first round) but it went  back to where it normally would be and the
clutch (reacted) quicker than what it  should have.

"It hurts to be out in the first round, but at the same time, we know where the problem is. It's something we can fix, but we just need a little time to get it worked out. We will be testing at Indianapolis this week, probably on Thursday."

Prior to this event,  Corradi and Oswald made a chassis change that helped
Troxel during the  weekend.  She said the team is getting a new chassis and both
will be used  during the test session. One is for Troxel and the other for
Frank Hawley, who  will drive a second Gotham City Racing Dodge Charger R/T at
the next POWERade  Series event in Atlanta, April 24-26.
"We'll get everything sorted  out and have two cars that are just alike.  It
looks like we should be able  to keep making improvements through the Atlanta
race," Troxel  added.

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Bob Tasca III , Frank Hawley