Brainerd: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

TROXEL QUALIFIES 11TH, DESPITE MECHANICAL BUGS BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2005) - Melanie Troxel qualified the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster No. 11 for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway today, in just...

TROXEL QUALIFIES 11TH, DESPITE MECHANICAL BUGS

BRAINERD, Minn. (Aug. 13, 2005) - Melanie Troxel qualified the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster No. 11 for the Lucas Oil NHRA Nationals at Brainerd International Raceway today, in just her fourth NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series race for Don Schumacher Racing.

Troxel recorded her best result, a 4.626-second elapsed-time at 295.34 mph, in the Friday night session, despite losing a cylinder. That followed a 4.726/253.66 lap in the first round. On Saturday, the team, tuned by Richard Hogan, was unable to take full advantage of favorable weather conditions in the third session because of another cylinder failure and posted a 4.639/315.78. The final round saw a 8.810/81.00 pass, slowed by loss of traction.

"We've struggled a little bit here in qualifying this weekend," said the 32-year-old Colorado native. "The Skull Gear/Torco Fuels Dragster continues to drop cylinders, and we're trying to figure out where that is coming from. In the first three runs we dropped cylinders. The 4.626 is a pretty decent number considering it dropped a hole at the hit and was running on seven cylinders."

"We were trying to run good on the last qualifying run. We kept all eight cylinders lit and it smoked the tires. Obviously, when we have all eight cylinders lit we're making a lot of power."

"It's hard on everybody to be in this situation where we don't think the car is perfect going into eliminations. More than that, it's tough because it's the same problem we've been fighting week after week. Everybody is working hard to find the problem. We're going over the car with a fine-toothed comb, and we'll get it figured out."

"There's a lot of promise here, the car's trying to run good. We just need to sort out the whole dropping cylinders problem and I think we'll have something for Sunday."

Troxel faces two-time POWERade series champion Larry Dixon in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher