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.