Memphis: Troxel not about to sing blues in Memphis

Littleton, Colo. (Oct. 3): During her roller-coaster rookie season, the one thing you won't hear from Melanie Troxel is any complaints. After starting the 2000 season with much success, Troxel was sidelined without a sponsor for most of the ...

Littleton, Colo. (Oct. 3): During her roller-coaster rookie season, the one thing you won't hear from Melanie Troxel is any complaints. After starting the 2000 season with much success, Troxel was sidelined without a sponsor for most of the season until Don Schumacher gave her the chance to drive the Exide Batteries dragster.

Though Troxel has now been piloting Schumacher's second team car for three races coming into the 13th Annual AutoZone Nationals, she still has had to overcome the growing pains that most new teams experience.

"We are starting to be a team," said Troxel, "at Indy, everything was so new, including the people and we still managed to go to the semi's."

>From mechanical failures to team miscues, Troxel has remained as focused and positive as anyone can be.

"The expectation is incredibly high in our camp," added Troxel, "we know we can't get into the Top 10, but we still want to show what we are capable of doing."

"We figure if we get a lot of the team building and growing pains out of the way in these last few races, we'll be that much further along when we start testing for next year."

At last year's AutoZone Nationals, Troxel was the runner-up in Federal Mogul Dragster and eventually finished the season second in championship points.

"We ran well here last year," commented Troxel, "and when you have had success at a certain track, its makes you much more comfortable."

Qualifying for the AutoZone Nationals is scheduled for Friday, Oct 6 and Saturday, Oct. 7. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, Oct. 8. ESPN2 will televise the AutoZone Nationals. Check local listings for times.

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