R2B2 Racing press release
Troxel blasts Beckman before bowing to Hagan in Brainerd
BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 21) -- ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car professional Melanie Troxel rode the most consistent racecar she's had all season to a promising quarterfinal finish Sunday at the 30th annual Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals.
After posting three nearly-identical 4.18-second qualifying passes down Brainerd International Raceway, Troxel opened race day with a convincing victory over "Fast Jack" Beckman, running a 4.195 at 306.46 mph to Beckman's problem-plagued 4.858 at 171.82 mph.
In the second session, Troxel drew top qualifier Matt Hagan. The two left with similar reaction times but Troxel's car overpowered the track a few hundred feet into her run and she was lost in a puff of smoke. Hagan had problems of his own nearer the finish line, but he had enough momentum built up to win with a 4.158 at 277.77 mph.
"This hurts for sure; it stings," Troxel said. "Without question, when we have a chance to digest this and look back at the weekend as a whole, we'll see a marked improvement. Three out of four qualifying runs went right down the track and when you add in the first round today we made four straight passes with no problems. We've had a very consistent racecar.
"Second round we just missed it but when you're running the No. 1 car in the field you have to step it up. I don't think any of us expected the car to rattle the tires but I don't know that it's that unexpected when you're trying to get after it. Matt obviously had some problems so they had it loaded up over there. They weren't taking us lightly."
The round win over Beckman was just the fourth of the year for the Colorado native who now lives near R2B2 Racing headquarters in Duluth, Ga. After enduring such a trying first half of the season, she's naturally focused on a strong stretch run.
"We have plans to put a new chassis into service so when you combine that with the progress we made with the tune-up here, there's reason to be excited," Troxel said. "Indy's next and that's the biggest race of the year so we want to be as prepared as possible. We're after wins at this point. Nothing else will suffice."