POMONA TOP FUEL WINNER MELANIE TROXEL ON A HIGH AS SHE PREPARES FOR SECOND RACE OF YEAR IN PHOENIX CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 21,2006) - Fresh off her first Top Fuel win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.) Feb. 12, Melanie Troxel heads to ...
POMONA TOP FUEL WINNER MELANIE TROXEL ON A HIGH AS SHE PREPARES FOR SECOND RACE OF YEAR IN PHOENIX
CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 21,2006) - Fresh off her first Top Fuel win at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona (Calif.) Feb. 12, Melanie Troxel heads to Firebird International Raceway this weekend for the second round of what is starting out to be a stellar year for the driver of the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster in the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.
Colorado native Troxel did not race here at the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals in 2005, as she only rejoined the Don Schumacher Racing team in that season's 13th event in Denver. And only recent testing and previous experience here gives her some insight as to what she and her DSR crew might expect.
"Coming off a win first race of the year gives you a huge boost of confidence," says Troxel, the Top Fuel points leader, who defeated her teammate and reigning Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher in the quarterfinals in Pomona en route to her victory. "We're definitely ready to come back out and run the car again. I'm obviously still riding on a high. I'm having a great time and excited to get back out there.
"Phoenix has been pretty good to me in the past. In the partial seasons that I've run before I've had the chance to run Phoenix so I have some experience here. We were also here testing in January. And I'm sure we'll have good weather.
"The event itself should be good and I know the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels guys are getting the car ready, trying to go over it very thoroughly and making sure everything is perfect.
"Even as well as we ran in Pomona, (crew chief) Richard Hogan and the crew think there may still be a couple of minor things with the car that weren't perfect. They're not taking it easy after the win. They're really working hard to make sure that everything is even better this week."
As for beating her teammate and breaking his string of 21 straight round wins, "Tony came by (after his loss) and congratulated me and said 'good job' and told us that we'd better go out and win the race," she says. "I'm glad we were able to do that. We all joked about it and told the U.S. Army crew we would make it worthwhile and we were able to go out and get that win.
"I know that Tony has said that if he had to have his string of round wins broken that it might as well be by his teammate. We're trying to go out and make the most of these opportunities so we really will have that opportunity late in the year to compete with them for the championship."