Melanie Troxel preview

Event: Gainesville

Troxel unveils new sponsor as she prepares for first double-duty race of '11

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 7) -- It won't be an illusion -- drag racing superstar Melanie Troxel will pretty much be everywhere during this weekend's 42nd annual Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals at Gainesville Raceway.

Funny Car: Melanie Troxel
Funny Car: Melanie Troxel

Todd Corzett

The only female racer in the nitro ranks, Troxel will be behind the wheel of her Toyota Funny Car, which will have a different look thanks to new sponsor RoadRage.com.

Troxel also will be behind the wheel of a RoadRage.com '69 Camaro as the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series kicks off its season.

Additionally, fans will see plenty of Troxel on the Gainesville Raceway big screen as she encourages fans to sign up for Roadrage.com, a new social media Web site geared toward the motoring enthusiast.

"We're excited to have RoadRage.com team up with R2B2 Racing at this event," Troxel said. "This is the first race this year where I'll be pulling double duty in my two cars and I think everyone on the team is ready for the challenge."

Troxel has spent much of the past week in Palm Beach, Fla., getting her Pro Mod car ready for the season in anticipation of bringing home another Wally or two in 2011.

"We like what we've seen out of the car this week," Troxel said. "We'll have a full stable of four R2B2 cars this weekend and there's lots of different combinations out there.

"I also like the way our RoadRage.com Funny Car looks. It's really going to stand out."

After both cars several times last season, Troxel said she and the team have developed procedures to make the switch between Funny Car and Pro Mod seamless for both driver and crew.

"Since I did this several times last year, I'm already prepared for what it's going to be like," Troxel said. "The Pro Mod guys understand they might not see me much during the day. I might just see them in the staging lanes after I ride my KYMCO scooter back from the top end after a Funny Car run.

"We've got a big group over here at the R2B2 Racing pit, and plenty of help to get the Pro Mod ready, so it shouldn't be an issue. We're just doing things a little differently because of the unique circumstances of racing two cars."

While Troxel has been in Florida, she has been keeping in close contact with Funny Car crew chief Aaron Brooks as he prepares for the Gators at the team's Duluth, Georgia shop.

"Aaron has been wracking his brain trying to figure that Funny Car out," Troxel said. "We've got all the confidence in the world that he can get this car sorted out. It's just taken a few more passes than we planned."

Troxel admitted that the team was tempted to take the Funny Car testing as well, but now that they are running for the championship, she is limited to just four in-season test sessions.

The Tire Kingdom NHRA Gatornationals get under way with qualifying at noon EST at Gainesville Raceway. Qualifying continues on Saturday with eliminations starting at 11 a.m. Sunday.

-source: r2b2

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel
Tags funny car, nhra, pro mod, r2b2