Return to Funny Car fight has Troxel fired up POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 9) -- Melanie Troxel may be the quickest female in motorsports and the only woman with victories in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, but even she admits to feeling a little nervous...
Return to Funny Car fight has Troxel fired up
POMONA, Calif. (Feb. 9) -- Melanie Troxel may be the quickest female in motorsports and the only woman with victories in both Top Fuel and Funny Car, but even she admits to feeling a little nervous when she began testing her In-N-Out Burger Dodge Charger R/T in anticipation of the 2010 NHRA season.
"There were definitely some nerves before that first run," Troxel said as her team completed preseason testing in Las Vegas. "It had been almost a year and a half since I'd been in a Funny Car and I was feeling those butterflies. It was almost like starting from scratch.
"I did race Pro Mod several times last year but nothing compares to a nitro Funny Car. The biggest challenge I ended up having was changing the habits I've developed driving a Pro Mod car and remembering the ones you instinctively need in a Funny Car. Fortunately, after I made that first launch it all came back to me."
Troxel will arrive at Auto Club Raceway in Pomona for this weekend's 50th annual Kragen O'Reilly NHRA Winternationals as a past winner of the event, having claimed the Top Fuel title at NHRA's traditional season opener in 2006.
She also comes to town with primary sponsorship from In-N-Out Burger, which supported her efforts in Top Alcohol Dragster in the late 1990s.
"Whether it's the Winternationals or the Finals, the two events in Pomona have a special feel to them," Troxel said. "They're certainly unlike any other events on tour. Of course, this one is really big for our team as we welcome back In-N-Out Burger. We all want to do well for them, especially since their headquarters are in Baldwin Park, so the focus is on qualifying well and having a good showing.
"I was just thinking about some of my earliest memories of drag racing in California and they actually involve In-N-Out Burgers. My dad loved them and I remember him trying to duplicate the way they make them when we'd go back to Colorado. Of course, that was impossible to do, which made the next trip out west all the better."
Under the direction of crew chief Lance Larsen and assistant tuner Robb Hauser, Troxel and her R2B2 Racing teammates executed five passes over a rain-plagued weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
"We're cautiously optimistic after testing," Troxel said. "The team is getting along really well and everyone seems to be gelling and getting into a rhythm with one another, which is nice to see. A lot of being successful in drag racing at this level is getting the day-to-day, round-by-round procedures down pat, and that includes what I do during a pass. I feel like we're as ready as we can be for this race. We're excited to be back."
-source: melanie troxel PR