Sonoma: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

TROXEL STARTING TO SEE WHAT SKULL GEAR/TORCO RACE FUELS TEAM IS MADE OF SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2005) - Melanie Troxel and the newly-formed Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel team are starting to make consistent, solid runs down the drag...

TROXEL STARTING TO SEE WHAT SKULL GEAR/TORCO RACE FUELS TEAM IS MADE OF

SONOMA, Calif. (July 30, 2005) - Melanie Troxel and the newly-formed Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel team are starting to make consistent, solid runs down the drag strip. The best of her four qualifying passes this weekend and her quickest so far this season, a 4.594-second elapsed time at 312.78 mph, placed her 10th in the field of 16 for Sunday's final eliminations of the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway.

"We came out for the Friday night session," she said of her 5.010/201.34 lap that evening, "and the car was running really good, running incremental numbers comparable to (polesitter and teammate) Tony (Schumacher), and got out there past half track and it was driving out of the groove. So, unfortunately, we didn't get to see what it would run in the best conditions of the weekend."

"Saturday was a new day, and we came out and made two really good passes. We ran a 4.59-second ET in the first session, and a 4.61 in the second. Both are great passes for race-day conditions, so we feel very confident going into tomorrow with those kind of numbers."

"The tune-ups have been coming around more. Short of a few problems or mistakes we've had with the car, the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels dragster has actually been really easy to drive. These guys have given me a car that has made my transition back into this class very easy."

For the second weekend in a row, she faces a Kalitta driver in first round of eliminations. Last week it was Doug, tomorrow it will be Scott. "The Kalitta team is tough, no matter what the conditions are," said the 32-year-old Denver native. "We continue to make progress, and have turned a corner with the team. We are starting to see what this team is capable of. The numbers are just as good as anybody's in the heat of the day, so we're pretty excited about our opportunity."

"We're not doing a bad job. We're qualified, and we're running respectable numbers, but tomorrow, and in the next race, we're going to show what we're really capable of. What that is is a top-half car, a car that's capable of going a few rounds, and before long, a car that has a legitimate shot at winning a race."

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel