TROXEL HAS DIFFICULT DAY IN MEMPHIS, FALLS IN POINTS Event on Rain Delay MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2006) - Melanie Troxel and the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster team fell victim to the elements and a strong opponent...
TROXEL HAS DIFFICULT DAY IN MEMPHIS, FALLS IN POINTS
Event on Rain Delay
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 20, 2006) - Melanie Troxel and the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster team fell victim to the elements and a strong opponent today in the first round of eliminations at the O'Reilly NHRA Mid-South Nationals, losing to Hillary Will.
With high humidity and temperatures hovering around the 100-degree mark, Troxel smoked the tires at half-track and, despite an attempt to pedal the car to regain traction, Troxel slowed to a 5.543-second elapsed time at 180.57 mph, while Will crossed the stripe comfortably with a 4.823/295.72. Margin of victory: .7577 of a second.
Both Doug Kalitta and Tony Schumacher advanced to the second round, dropping Troxel into third in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel point standings, following that round. (See below.)
**NOTE: The event has been put on hold for rain, and at 8:30 p.m. it is still raining. Only one round of pro competition was completed, with the exception of one pairing of Pro Stock Motorcycles. The NHRA will make a decision at 11 p.m. CT whether to postpone it until Monday.**
Brandon Bernstein also advanced to the second round. If Bernstein were to win the next round, he would move ahead of Troxel in the points, and Troxel would drop to fourth.
"We made a good run the very last qualifying pass down the track (quickest of that session), and we thought we had a car that would be good later in the day," said Troxel, who qualified No. 4, "but we knew it was going to be tough going up there first round. And you never know what to expect when you go up there. The track temperature was about 140 degrees. We went up and gave it our best shot. It was kind of a toss-up at that point. I don't think anybody can say that they really knew what the cars would do going down the track.
"We made a lane change at the last minute. We had watched our teammate Tony Schumacher go down the track (in the right lane after switching following an oildown by Rod Fuller), so we thought that it was the better lane. The car left, it felt pretty good. Before half-track it started smoking the tires already. I tried to pedal once but it didn't hook back up and blew the burst panels out of the engine.
"They (Hillary Will) made a very clean run, it went down the track. At the point I had pedal it it was a lost cause from there on out. You're just hoping at that point that something happens in the other lane, that they might spin the tires or throw the blower belt off. They went out and did exactly what they needed to do and we didn't.
"It was a bad weekend, it's pretty simple," she added. "And you're going to have those weekends. It was an important weekend because now we have fallen to third (or fourth) in points.
"We've got testing in Indy next week. We'll go out and work on things. All we can hope is that it will turn around for us. It seems like in the beginning of the year we could do no wrong and now we can do no right. Eventually, that's got to turn around, so we'll just keep at it."
Next up is the prestigious U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Cleremont, Ind., Aug. 30-Sept. 4.