Sonoma: Melanie Troxel final summary

TROXEL AND SKULL GEAR/TORCO RACE FUELS TEAM MAKING STRIDES SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) - Melanie Troxel is continuing on her path to winning rounds and earning points in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel ranks. The driver of the...

TROXEL AND SKULL GEAR/TORCO RACE FUELS TEAM MAKING STRIDES

SONOMA, Calif. (July 31, 2005) - Melanie Troxel is continuing on her path to winning rounds and earning points in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel ranks. The driver of the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster completed her third race with Don Schumacher Racing and is making strides in improving the performance of the new car and team.

After qualifying 10th for the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals this weekend, Troxel faced Scott Kalitta in first round of eliminations today, the second member of the Kalitta family she has faced in the opening round in the last two races. In Seattle last weekend, Troxel lost to Doug Kalitta.

Today, No. 7 qualifier Scott Kalitta gave her a good race in the first round under unknown track conditions, as the two were the first pair down the track in Top Fuel eliminations. This surprised most of the insiders, as it is usually the 8-9 pairing that takes off first.

Troxel edged out Kalitta at the starting light by .005 of a second, but it was Kalitta first at the finish line with a winning 4.598/322.19 to Troxel's 4.761/287.35.

"Obviously, there's a reason the first pair usually ends up being 8 and 9 because no one wants that spot. Kalitta's team may have thought that played to their advantage and they went out and ran a 4.59."

"I don't know that that bothered us that much because we had run down the track before in hot conditions similar to what we expected to have on Sunday."

"We are still sorting out some things that come with having a new team and new equipment. The car left and was running right with him. Unfortunately, we smoked the tires down track. It's just going to take a little more time for us to get all the pieces put together and make some good runs from start to finish."

Next up is the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals in Brainerd, Minn., Aug. 12-14, 2005.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Doug Kalitta , Scott Kalitta , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher