Madison: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

TROXEL CLAIMS NO. 11 SPOT IN ST. LOUIS QUALIFYING MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2006) - Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel secured the No. 11 spot for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway today with a 4.692-second...

TROXEL CLAIMS NO. 11 SPOT IN ST. LOUIS QUALIFYING

MADISON, Ill. (June 24, 2006) - Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel secured the No. 11 spot for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway today with a 4.692-second pass at 315.27 mph.

Troxel found herself outside of the field after two tire-smoking rounds in hot and humid air on Friday (posting first a 13.007/82.43, then a 5.852/296.05). She earned her way into No. 13 in the third session by establishing a 4.811/313.29 lap in the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels dragster, then bettered that pass in the final round under the lights (the 4.692/315.27).

"We didn't have a lot of data on this track, and the track itself was green (fresh)," she said of the first two rounds. "That's why we get four passes to work on it. It just took us a pass longer than we would have liked."

As for the final two qualifying sessions: "We knew the weather wasn't going to get any worse today, and the bump spot wasn't particularly hard (to beat), so we felt pretty good about getting in today," said the 33-year old Colorado native. "That first session we were able to get in the field at No. 13, which isn't completely safe, but it gave us the opportunity to step it up a little bit with the cooler weather in the last session.

"We feel good for Sunday's eliminations, although we might not have as many good passes in the heat of the day as some (of the other teams), we feel like we are on the right track and we'll be able to compete with anyone tomorrow.

"Richard (Hogan, crew chief) and these Skull Shine guys have shown time and time again that they will step it up on Sundays, so we'll go out tomorrow and take one round at a time. You can't look too far ahead," she added.

She faces Hillary Will in the opening round of eliminations on Sunday.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Hillary Will