By R2B2 Racing
Troxel to face Capps in Funny Car's opening session in Norwalk
It took some struggle but Melanie Troxel put the ProCare Rx Toyota into Sunday's Funny Car eliminations at the Summit Racing Equipment Racing Nationals.
Friday rains limited the NHRA Full Throttle Series to just two qualifying efforts on Saturday. After shaking the tires on her first run of the day, Troxel had just one more shot to bump her way into the field.
"That second run felt like a pretty good run until it was quite a ways down track," Troxel said. "At 800- or 900-feet it started spinning the tires pretty violently. The only choice when you are trying to qualify is to leg it to the light, so that’s what we did."
Troxel had enough fancy footwork to cross the finish line in 4.210 seconds at 284.33 mph, which would eventually prove to be good enough for No. 15 in the field. She squares off against No. 2 qualifier Ron Capps, who had a best lap of 4.095 at 299.26 mph, in the first round of Sunday's eliminations.
"It worked out fine," Troxel said. "It got a little ugly past the finish line, but it was good enough to get what we needed.
"With the rain-shortened qualifying, we needed a little bit of luck. Now that we're in and have a little bit of data to go off of, we'll have a better idea what to expect tomorrow."
It was luck that was evidently used up on the Funny Car, because Troxel was unable to will her R2B2 Racing Camaro into the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series elimination ladder on Saturday.
The scenario unfolded similarly with her Camaro shaking it tires and getting out of shape.
"It was a driver trying to do everything to get the car down the track," she said. "Sometimes you'll have a shot at qualifying the car if it's not perfect. Usually when you shift into second the tire shake clears up. This time it didn't. It was definitely an unhappy car and shook all the way to the center line. It was probably one of the top three ugliest runs I've ever made."