TROXEL, FIVE OTHERS WIN AT POMONA ON GOODYEAR TIRES
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 13, 2006) -- Melanie Troxel was the headliner as six drivers racing on Goodyear tires won their class in the National Hot Rod Association CARQUEST Auto Parts Winternationals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona.
Troxel, whose father won the Winternationals in 1988 and husband won the Funny Car class a year ago, became the sixth woman to win a Top Fuel race in NHRA history. She is the eighth woman to take a win in an NHRA professional class.
The other winners racing on Goodyear tires included Robert Hight (in Funny Car), Greg Anderson (Pro Stock), Duane Shields (Top Alcohol Dragster), Lou Ficco (Competition Eliminator) and Val Torres Jr. (Super Gas). Keith Downing, who also races on Goodyear tires, reached the final round in the Super Gas class. There were nine classes in competition at the event.
Troxel had to beat the best in the business, two-time defending Top Fuel champion Tony Schumacher, in the second round. Schumacher is Troxel's teammate. She beat David Baca in the final round. The victory was the first of Troxel's Top Fuel career.
"I don't think it's going to set in for a couple of days," Troxel said of the victory. "I'm going to let it takes as long as it wants."
Mike Troxel, Melanie's father, won the Top Alcohol Dragster class of the Winternationals in 1988. Tommy Johnson Jr., Troxel's husband, won the Funny Car class here a year ago.
Hight, who drives for Funny Car legend John Force, won for the third time. He beat Ron Capps in the final.
Anderson's pass in the final round set a Pro Stock record for speed, 207.75 mph. The win was the 40th of his Pro Stock career. He beat Mike Edwards in the final round.
The conditions were nearly perfect through all four days of the event, as clear skies and warm temperatures blessed the teams and fans. Those conditions also led to some very fast passes.
John Force turned the quickest pass in Funny Car history when he was timed at 4.664 seconds during qualifying. The time will not stand as an official NHRA record because Force did not back it up during the event. Gary Scelzi set a track speed record in Funny Car during qualifying when he was clocked at 332.51 mph. The Funny Car field was the fastest in NHRA history.
Shields won an all-Goodyear final round in TAD, edging Aaron Olivarez. Steve Torrence, the defending national champion and a Goodyear-equipped driver, recorded the best time in qualifying. The victory was the seventh straight in NHRA national competition for Goodyear in the TAD class.
Ficco defeated Dean Carter in the Competition final. The four cars in the semi final round were all using Goodyear tires.
Torres beat another Goodyear-shod car driven by Bill Ohmer to win the Super Gas final. Three of the four cars in the semi final round used Goodyear tires. Goodyear-shod cars have won the last three Super Gas races in NHRA national competition.
The next national event on the NHRA schedule is the Feb. 24-26 Checker Schucks Kragen Nationals at Firebird International Raceway in Chandler, Ariz.