Baytown: Melanie Troxel final report

Troxel's runner-up finish puts In-N-Out Burger team in first place HOUSTON (April 11) -- A runner-up finish at Sunday's 23rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals lifted Pro Mod superstar Melanie Troxel into the points lead of the...

Troxel's runner-up finish puts In-N-Out Burger team in first place

HOUSTON (April 11) -- A runner-up finish at Sunday's 23rd annual O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Spring Nationals lifted Pro Mod superstar Melanie Troxel into the points lead of the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.

Troxel drove her In-N-Out Burger '63 Corvette around past champion Jay Payne, heavy hitter Rick Stivers, and top contender Von Smith to assume the No. 1 ranking in the world. Sunday's event at Houston Raceway Park, won by Danny Rowe, was the second of 10 on the Pro Mod tour.

"I'm totally surprised to find out we're in the points lead but it's certainly very exciting for everyone at R2B2 Racing and In-N-Out Burger," Troxel said. "The season is only 20 percent done so we've got a long way to go but it's neat to know we're up there in the mix."

The first round of eliminations, which took place Saturday night, featured Troxel taking out No. 1 qualifier Jay Payne. The huge upset win set the tone for Sunday's final three rounds and Troxel and crew chief Bob Newberry used a safer tune-up to record winning times of 6.018 and 6.013 seconds.

"It turns out that all you needed was a 6.0-second car to go rounds," said Troxel, whose 6.030 in the trophy round was eclipsed by Rowe's 5.936. "It got hotter today and Bob backed it down a little to make sure we got down the track every time. The car ran well, we just didn't have anything for a 5.93 in the final round."

"We saw a spectrum of conditions this weekend. It was cool one round, then we had rain, then it got hot. I think Bob raced smart. We didn't try to run numbers we weren't capable of running and it paid off."

Pulling double-duty for the second time this year, Troxel was eliminated early in her In-N-Out Burger Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car, losing to eventual race winner Matt Hagan in Round 1 after her 8,000-horsepower hot rod lost traction midway down the track. The final numbers had Hagan beating Troxel with a 4.217 at 302.48 mph to Troxel's resigned 5.578 at 141.59 mph.

"Lance (Larsen, Funny Car tuner) got aggressive because we want to step it up," Troxel said. "We need to get the car in the 4.0-second range to run with the top teams and we're determined to figure out a way to get there. We made some progress this weekend, so we're encouraged."

Troxel will race her Funny Car again in five days when the NHRA tour arrives at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway for the 11th annual SummitRacing.com NHRSA Nationals. The next Pro Mod race occurs April 30-May 2 in St. Louis.

-source: melanie troxel racing

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Melanie Troxel , Jay Payne , Rick Stivers , Von Smith , Danny Rowe , Matt Hagan