St. Louis: Melanie Troxel Friday notes

Melanie Troxel Jumps to Top of Funny Car Qualifying Ladder at Midwest Nationals FRIDAY, May 2, 2008 -- Melanie Troxel believed her ProCare Rx Dodge R/T Funny Car was close to finding the right performance tune-up and Friday night she proved...

Melanie Troxel Jumps to Top of Funny Car Qualifying Ladder at Midwest Nationals

FRIDAY, May 2, 2008 -- Melanie Troxel believed her ProCare Rx Dodge R/T Funny Car was close to finding the right performance tune-up and Friday night she proved it, posting the quickest time, 4.802 seconds, and the fastest speed, 327.59 mph, as qualifying began for Sunday's O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

A strong 4.876-second time that had her sixth on her first attempt provided a look at what was to come in the last session, run in cooler, more ideal conditions.

She follows Ashley Force as the second woman to hold the provisional No. 1 after Friday qualifying. Two more rounds are on tap Saturday.

Despite the fact it was the quickest run, Troxel said it really wasn't perfect. "It was a wild run. The car was moving all over the place. I even thought about lifting a little bit and now I'm glad I didn't. I have a great team. I think we are just now starting to show our potential."

This is Troxel's seventh Funny Car race after switching from Top Fuel. She won the Top Fuel title at Gateway a year ago. She started the season by qualifying third at Pomona, Calif., with a 4.810-second time, but the team has struggled since.

"When we came out of Pomona it looked like we were going to be pretty good right off the bat but we just fell off the pace," Troxel recalled. "We definitely have too good a team to run the way we have been. We knew over the last couple of races that we were turning the corner. We could see the performance coming around. We knew it was going to change . . . it was just a matter of time.

"This track was very good to me last year so it's perfect this is the race we got things turned around."

Mike Ashley, co-owner of Gotham City Racing with Roger Burgess, pointed out that his decision to step into the Lend America/Gotham City Racing Dodge R/T Funny Car at this event is already beginning to show results. Ashley was 13th with a best of 4.923 seconds and made his run before Troxel.

"First, I am confident my Funny Car will qualify Saturday," he said. "This is exactly why we run two cars. I went down the track and we got some information. We were able to relay that information to her team and Melanie was able to parlay that in to the No. 1 qualifying position.

"I've always said that we have the best team out here and there is  something
special about a team that goes through real tough times and shows  their
character when they get up off the canvas like that and qualify No.  1."

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Ashley Force , Melanie Troxel , Mike Ashley , Roger Burgess