TROXEL SPRINGS FORWARD TO ATLANTA COMMERCE, Ga. (April 24) -- The Vietnam Veterans POW/MIA/ Top Fuel team driven by peak performer, Melanie Troxel is bound and determined to overcome their recent string of hard luck and know they are a much ...
TROXEL SPRINGS FORWARD TO ATLANTA
COMMERCE, Ga. (April 24) -- The Vietnam Veterans POW/MIA/ Top Fuel team driven by peak performer, Melanie Troxel is bound and determined to overcome their recent string of hard luck and know they are a much better group wanting resurgence in their racing program. This week at the 27th annual running of the Summit Racing Equipment Southern Nationals they will receive their opportunity to set the quarter-mile straight and set their sights on another final round appearance.
"We had been running extremely well at that point of the season last year and it helps going into this year knowing we have the tune-up information we can use towards the race this year," said Troxel. "Every race is individual every time you come back to a track and it's a little bit different. We'll head in there and hopefully use some of the information we gained from testing on Monday after Las Vegas. The plan is to be able to qualify right up there in the top of the field with both of the Morgan Lucas race cars and not to have to race each other early on Sunday."
With the impending spring season upon the NHRA racers, Atlanta Dragway could be the first bout of warm weather most of these participates will have to contend with in the range of track temperatures reaching 120 degrees.
"Definitely, hot weather makes it more difficult for a driver because there's a much higher likelihood the car will smoke the tires," said Troxel. "I think really our plan is for Richard (Hogan, crew chief) to have a tune up that won't make that a big issue. The weather has been a little strange this year with cold weather and rainy conditions. We have changed many things since last year and to be able to test out the new equipment, we'll be able to solve that problem."
The NHRA POWERade Countdown to the Championship is very much on everyone's mind and although the season may be young, Troxel understands there's not a moment to waste. She currently holds the eighth position in the Top Fuel standings.
"It's more important with the new points system to be running hard at the end of the year, but certainly you have to be in one of those top eight spots for that to work out for you," said Troxel. "It's very important to come out and run better than we have. We need to move up at the minimum of a spot or two, but really for us to be in a position to be running our hardest at the end of the season; we're going to need to see an improvement in our Sunday's results. That means going a round or two everywhere we go. I think that is on everyone's mind on the team. We've stayed after and done some testing and I think we're moving in that direction.
The start of the Summit Southern Nationals begins at the Atlanta Dragway on Friday, April. 27, with two qualifying sessions starting at 4:30 p.m. (EDT) with a second session at 7:30 p.m. Saturday's time trials start at 12:30 p.m. for the nitro classes followed by a second session at 3:30 p.m. The race starts promptly at 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 29.