Reading: Tough first day for Troxel at Maple Grove

Mohnton, Pa. (Sept. 15): After coming off and impressive debut at the U.S. Nationals, Melanie Troxel and her Exide Batteries teammates, struggled through the first day of qualifying for the 16th annual Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove ...

Mohnton, Pa. (Sept. 15): After coming off and impressive debut at the U.S. Nationals, Melanie Troxel and her Exide Batteries teammates, struggled through the first day of qualifying for the 16th annual Keystone Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway.

Troxel's team started the first qualifying session with a mechanical failure that forced her to shut the car down after making her burnout. By not staging the car, Troxel was not officially in the 16-car field.

"We had a couple of things go wrong on that run," said Troxel, "I guess you would call them growing pains."

Troxel, whose car is tuned by teammate Tony Schumacher's crew chief, Don Olson, was prepared to run as quick as Schumacher had previously run in the same lane, in the first session of the day. In addition to Olson, Tim and Kim Richards have been hired to oversee the operation of Troxel's dragster until new crew chief, Jim Prock joins the team next year.

Unfortunately the tune-up was too aggressive and Troxel smoked her tires. She coasted down track to a 13.296 e.t. at 78.67 mph. Qualified in the No. 16 spot, Troxel will have two more chances to improve her position on Saturday.

"The guys are not really sure what happened," said Troxel, "we thought the car would get down the track."

"We'll be fine. Tim, Kim (Richards) and Dan (Olson) will have it worked out for tomorrow."

Qualifying for the Keystone Nationals will continue Saturday with two addition sessions for all Pro classes. Final eliminations are scheduled for Sunday, Sept 17, at 11am.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel