Phoenix: Melanie Troxel preview

Female drag racing star Troxel trains her attention on Phoenix PHOENIX (Feb. 18) -- The NHRA's season-opening 50th annual NHRA Winternationals last weekend in Pomona, Calif, was filled with unique sights and sounds as drag racing celebrated a ...

Female drag racing star Troxel trains her attention on Phoenix

PHOENIX (Feb. 18) -- The NHRA's season-opening 50th annual NHRA Winternationals last weekend in Pomona, Calif, was filled with unique sights and sounds as drag racing celebrated a milestone event.

Among the major draws, which included a bevy of classic cars and the legendary drivers who piloted them, was 10-year pro racer Melanie Troxel, who returned to the Funny Car ranks for the first time in 12 months with her brand new In-N-Out Burger Dodge Charger R/T.

"There were a lot of people coming around to check out the new In-N-Out car," Troxel said. "The fans were excited to see In-N-Out back in drag racing, and the fans have always been very good to me personally, and that hasn't changed. I can't tell you how many times I heard people tell me they were glad to see us back. I feel so fortunate to have so many people on my side.

"I think the combination of In-N-Out Burger returning to the sport for the first time in 11 years with our particular race team has been a home run with fans."

As the drag racing scene shifts to this weekend's 26th annual Arizona NHRA Nationals at Firebird International Raceway near Phoenix, Troxel said she's hoping to build on last weekend's performance and give her fans more reasons to cheer.

After finishing the 2008 season with a solid racecar and combination, Troxel's Dodge was put into storage while the team searched for sponsorship. The team pulled it out less than a month ago and have been thrashing to prepare for the season ever since. Bad weather in Las Vegas limited the amount of testing data the R2B2 crew was able to gather before Pomona, but the crew still was able to put a solid racecar under Troxel.

"Everybody is thrilled with our performance in Pomona," Troxel said. "You can always hope for a little bit more -- that's just part of the racer thing. You always want to go quicker and faster. But given the circumstances we were in, we're pleased with the way the whole weekend went. I don't know that we could have asked for more.

"We made it down the track four out of five passes and posted our best numbers of the weekend on Sunday. We just lost a good, close race to Bob Tasca by a fraction of a second. It was one of those races that easily could have gone our way."

She added that she expects another good weekend in Phoenix.

"We're excited to get back out there and keep building on our program," Troxel said. "We'll tweak the tune-up a little bit, but we feel like we can be contenders anywhere we go with the way we're already running. (Crew chief) Lance Larsen and (team owner) Roger Burgess have given us everything we need to be successful."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Roger Burgess