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Troxel comfortable with 1000-foot track; Seeking more 1000-foot round wins Over the years, Maple Grove Raceway has produced a number of stellar elapsed times and fast speeds, and it could happen again this weekend during NHRA Toyo Tires ...

Troxel comfortable with 1000-foot track; Seeking more 1000-foot round wins

Over the years, Maple Grove Raceway has produced a number of stellar elapsed times and fast speeds, and it could happen again this weekend during NHRA Toyo Tires Nationals.

"We've run a lot of big numbers there before," said Melanie Troxel, driver of the Gotham City Racing Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, "especially in the Friday night sessions."

But the thousands of fans who will be attending this year may not know what a fast time is because this is the first time the Top Fuel and Funny Cars will be running to 1,000 feet instead of the traditional 1320 feet. After four races on the shortened tracks, Troxel doesn't think about the difference any more. "A thousand-foot track seems natural now," she said. "It is definitely shorter, but you don't have to think about it any more. On day-to-day business, I don't think you notice it."

That was not the norm at Denver, site of the first 1000-foot event.

"The first weekend seemed fairly strange, but I think everybody has settled into that distance . . . and getting used to seeing different elapsed times and miles per hour."

Troxel's best 1000-foot time is 4.096 seconds and her top speed is 302.55 mph while her team continues looking for consistent combinations. "We are struggling right now," she said. "We just haven't had our best runs in the first round. Everyone still has a positive attitude and we are working hard."

Troxel was runner-up in Top Fuel at Maple Grove in 2006. This is her first year in Funny Car. She had a quarter-final finish last Sunday at Brainerd, Minn.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel