Troxel makes NHRA Finals her best outing of '10 season POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) -- Riding the powerful tune-up of new crew chief Aaron Brooks, crowd favorite Melanie Troxel completed her partial 2010 schedule of Funny Car races with a strong ...
Troxel makes NHRA Finals her best outing of '10 season
POMONA, Calif. (Nov. 14) -- Riding the powerful tune-up of new crew chief Aaron Brooks, crowd favorite Melanie Troxel completed her partial 2010 schedule of Funny Car races with a strong semifinal showing Sunday at the 46th annual Auto Club NHRA Finals.
Troxel beat class heavyweights Robert Hight and Del Worsham in the first two sessions before falling to new champion John Force in Round 3. The semifinal run was the best of the year for Troxel and her In-N-Out Burger Dodge Charger R/T race team, which is owned by Pro Mod racer Roger Burgess.
"It was a good weekend," Troxel said. "We won a couple rounds and knocked off some big teams. Being part-time this year we weren't a part of the Countdown (playoffs) but it was fun to go out there and play spoiler a little bit."
Against both Hight and Worsham, Troxel used superior reaction times at the starting line to gain early leads that she was able to hold all the way down the 1,000-foot strip. Her winning time against Hight was a 4.260 at 287.66 mph versus his 4.752 at 176.88 mph. Opposite Worsham she went 4.307 at 240.38 mph to his 5.783 at 192.74 mph.
Then came 15-time champion Force, who was just too much to handle, with his 4.138 at 306.12 mph carrying him to the final round. Troxel's group gave it a try, but their attempt was lost when the car lost traction a few hundred feet into the run.
"We aren't quite running the numbers we like yet, but we are making progress," Troxel said. "We were dropping holes and hurting parts a little bit this weekend but every time we come out and make another run we take steps in the right direction.
"We'll do some testing through the off season and come out strong next year."
The optimism surrounding the team, which Burgess said will run at all 22 national events, was evident in the pit after the event.
"We have great chemistry on the team," Troxels said. "It's great going into the next year knowing we'll have that continuity you get from going to every race. We hope to be able to build some momentum early and just ride it through the year.
"We finished on an up-tick and that makes everyone feel good that we ran well here in In-N-Out Burger's backyard."