Troxel's new 'Toy' gets it's first test
PALM BEACH, Fla. -- It's taken a Herculean effort by Melanie Troxel's crew to get the new In-N-Out Burger Toyota Camry Funny Car to Palm Beach International Raceway for preseason testing.
The car has been completely rebuilt in-house by R2B2 Racing, and Troxel said getting it pieced together and ready for testing has required long hours from the crew.
"We've mounted all the new bodies in-house and rebuilt the front of the chassis, and I think the guys are going on 32 straight days of working," Troxel said. "I heard one of them say he worked 400 hours in the month of January. They've done an incredible amount of work to get us here in race shape.
"I'm proud of them. They didn't do anything halfway. Everything is working as it should, and we've had no major hiccups."
With its black logoless body and wicked looking wings, the new Toyota looks -- albeit temporarily -- more like the Batmobile than In-N-Out Burger machine NHRA fans became familiar with last season, and Troxel is overjoyed to be racing with the Toyota body.
"These bodies are so nice to see out of," Troxel said. "You can see so much more of the track in this car, which has been pleasure for me."
Troxel said crew chief Aaron Brooks has been just as meticulous at the test as he was putting the car together. The team has only made it as far as half-track in the first two days but she said plenty of forward progress is being made.
"We're still working the bugs out," she said. "On the pass to half-track we had good numbers. It's not exactly the car we finished last year with, so in a lot of ways we are starting from scratch. We're using a lot of the same parts as last year but they've been reassembled in the way Aaron wants. Aaron is particular about how his equipment is put together. He's worked hard to make sure every piece that's been put on this car has been done right."
The team will continue to test on Saturday and possibly Sunday before making final preparations for the season-opening Kragen O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals, Feb. 24-27, at Pomona, Calif.