Columbus: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

TROXEL QUALIFIES NO. 5 AT NATIONAL TRAIL IN COLUMBUS HEBRON, Ohio (May 20, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel used a strong first-session qualifying run of 4.529 seconds at 303.03 mph to nail down the...

TROXEL QUALIFIES NO. 5 AT NATIONAL TRAIL IN COLUMBUS

HEBRON, Ohio (May 20, 2006) - NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel used a strong first-session qualifying run of 4.529 seconds at 303.03 mph to nail down the No. 5 spot for Sunday's final eliminations at National Trail Raceway. It marks the fifth (of eight) straight event in which she has qualified the Skull Shine/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster in the top half of the 16-car field.

Troxel completed only two other qualifying rounds, as Friday night's session was shortened because of rain. They produced a 10.061/79.06 lap after losing traction, and a 4.607/300.53 when the engine expired at the end of the quarter-mile.

"We were fortunate to run a really good number right out of the box," she said. "It certainly puts you at ease for the rest of qualifying, where you can focus on your race set-up.

"We would have liked to have taken a shot at the No. 1 spot in that Friday night session, but it didn't happen because of the weather, which is fine because we are more concerned with race-day conditions.

"Today we tried some stuff to see what we could get away with, and in the first run we didn't get down the track. Then, in the second run the car was going down the track, but we had some engine problems at the top end and it let go," said the 33-year-old Colorado native.

"Looking at the bright side, at least it happened today instead of Sunday when it would have cost us points in addition to the fine we will have to pay," she said, referring to points penalties that are meted out to teams that oil down the track in eliminations.

"The Skull Shine guys are going to have to work extra hard to get the car ready for tomorrow, but they are great guys, so I know I'll have a good race car on Sunday."

Troxel squares off against Morgan Lucas in the first round of final eliminations, whom she's beaten four times so far this season. Neither has lost in the first round after seven events. "Anything can happen on race day, so we're definitely going to have to be on top of our game," she said.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Morgan Lucas