Bristol: Melanie Troxel Saturday report

Troxel in the thick of Funny Car fight BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 19) -- It's been a while since Melanie Troxel has been behind the wheel of her R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger Funny Car, but the drag racing megastar barely missed a beat while qualifying...

Troxel in the thick of Funny Car fight

BRISTOL, Tenn. (June 19) -- It's been a while since Melanie Troxel has been behind the wheel of her R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger Funny Car, but the drag racing megastar barely missed a beat while qualifying for the field at the 10th annual NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals on Saturday.

"That first pass Friday felt nice," Troxel said. "Although it felt like forever since I'd been in the Funny Car."

Troxel fought her way trough the heat and performing double-duty with the In-N-Out Burger Camaro Pro Mod to qualify ninth for Sunday's Funny Car eliminations.

"It was real important to get down on that Friday night session when it was a bit cooler," Troxel said. "You know it's going to be your best opportunity to put up a good number. It puts you solidly enough in the field to take the pressure off you on Saturday."

Her Friday night lap was a 4.239 second pass at 289.26 mph, which pairs her with Tim Wilkerson in Sunday's first round. Wilkerson ran a 4.238 at 283.67 mph to qualify eighth.

"We used Saturday as an opportunity to try some things," Troxel said. "We found some issues we're trying to address and it's good to get those things out of the way now rather than on race day."

Troxel's weekend in her new Camaro Pro Mod was shorter than she would have liked. Her team switched from a Corvette to a Camaro chassis in order to give her a performance boost and this race was her first one in the new machine.

The In-N-Out Camaro was just a tic off the rest of the field all weekend and only mustered a best lap of 6.144 seconds at 238.38 mph, which was .011 seconds off the pace of the No. 16 qualifier.

Troxel said her team is undaunted and the new car has a nice feel as it goes down the track.

"Racecars are frustrating, they never run as good as you want them to," Troxel said. "There's only one winner in any given weekend. We feel like this chassis is showing really good promise. The car leaves consistently straight. We're going to use the test session on Monday to figure out our other issues."

Eliminations for the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals begin at noon EDT Sunday from Bristol Dragway. ESPN2 will carry the action in primetime.

-source: R2B2 Racing

Be part of something big

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tim Wilkerson , Melanie Troxel