Troxel's first Funny Car event ends early POMONA, Calif. (February 10, 2008) - Funny Car rookie Melanie Troxel smoked the tires early and lost her first-round eliminations race against Bob Tasca III in the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA...
Troxel's first Funny Car event ends early
POMONA, Calif. (February 10, 2008) - Funny Car rookie Melanie Troxel smoked the tires early and lost her first-round eliminations race against Bob Tasca III in the CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Winternationals in Pomona, Calif. on Sunday.
After qualifying No. 3 and driving her the ProCare Rx Dodge Charger R/T 327.90 m.p.h., the fastest Funny Car speed of the event, Troxel was the favorite in the match-up against fellow rookie Tasca. She left the starting line with a distinct advantage, and according to computer data, was ahead of him until about 400 feet, when the clutch engaged and overpowered the track, causing the tires to lose traction and spin.
"It's definitely not the way I wanted to start the year, especially after qualifying so well. I think it was just one of those fluke things, because Brian [Corradi, Troxel's crew chief] said the car was on a great pass up until that point," Troxel explained.
"I'm disappointed, of course, but I'm not depressed. Look at all of the high quality cars that didn't even make the show - cars like my teammate's, Mike Ashley; my husband Tommy Johnson, Del Worsham - and all of those cars and teams are very competitive.
"I think almost everyone out here this weekend had some difficulty at one time or another with the track, and, unfortunately for us, we just got bitten by that at the wrong time," she said.
"When you lose like this, especially at the beginning of the season, you have to step back from the disappointment and look at the big picture. This is a new car, I'm a new driver, and this is the first race of a 24-event season. I'm actually very pleased, because I got a lot more seat time, the guys and I are jelling and getting to know each other, and I'm learning the finer points of driving a Funny Car instead of finessing a Dragster. There's a big difference, not so much in power, but more so in how you have to manhandle the steering in the Funny Car versus feathering the steering in the other.
"After talking with [team co-owner and teammate] Mike Ashley, we're going to do some serious testing this week to get these new cars completely dialed in and ready when we get to Phoenix. The way I look at that, it's a great way to get controlled seat time, and since we've got good information from what we experienced here, we'll be able to stay there until we get it running consistently like it did at the end of last year," she said.