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Troxel Enthusiastic about Improving Performance Of Special Dream House Dodge Charger A test session last week at deserted Raceway Park in Indianapolis may be remembered later this year for providing the impetus that put Melanie Troxel and the...

Troxel Enthusiastic about Improving Performance Of Special Dream House Dodge Charger

A test session last week at  deserted Raceway Park in Indianapolis may be
remembered later this year for  providing the impetus that put Melanie Troxel and
the Gotham City Racing team  into race-winning form.
Troxel, driving the special Dream House for  Medically Fragile Children Dodge
Charger R/T Funny Car she will run this  weekend, and teammate Frank Hawley,
at the controls of the ProCare Rx Dodge R/T  Funny Car, were among those
making laps.  The results were very  encouraging.
Troxel, now approaching the sixth race of her first  NHRA POWERade Series
Funny Car season, is very optimistic going into the Summit  Racing Equipment
Nationals at Atlanta Dragway, April  25-27.

"Testing is always good," she said, "but there are times when you test and don't feel like you found anything. But the test at Indy was one of those times when you get excited about what you learned and you can't wait to go to the next race to see if it works.

"We had a problem  at (the last race at) Las Vegas with inconsistencies in
some of the timers on  the car.  The guys fixed it and that gave them the
opportunity to play  around with some different things they wanted to try . . . and
they think they  found some promising things, so we are excited to be going to
Atlanta so we can  try them."

Troxel made three solid qualifying runs at Vegas and her best effort of 4.936 seconds put her 14th in the starting line-up. Loss of traction in the first round against Bob Tasca III led to her early exit, but she was pleased to qualify and get more on-track time.

"I think we are  back on track," she said.  "It definitely feels like we
have a car that  should qualify and we are getting to the point where we have as
good a shot as  anybody of winning races.  It will be a great weekend for us
if we can win  a few rounds for everyone at the Dream House.
"I think a win would  be great because it would bring a lot of exposure to
the Dream House cause, and  obviously the team would love to do that, too."
Troxel said the she  is getting more comfortable in the car with each run.  "
It's comforting to  know the car is going to go down the track on most runs.
The improvements  (crew chiefs) Brian (Corradi), Mark (Oswald) and the guys
have made to the car  in the last two races make it exciting to drive."

Gotham City Racing co-owners Roger Burgess and Mike Ashley recognize the impact Dream House has in providing for medically fragile children. They organized a special fund-raising event featuring National Hot Rod Association drivers Saturday, April 26, at Chateau 0x00c9lan Winery & Resort in Braselton, Ga.

"Roger mentioned that he wanted to run a car specifically  championing the
Dream House cause," said Troxel.  "It's a great opportunity  for us.  I know
Frank and I are looking forward to going to the Dream House  Tuesday and
visiting with the kids.  Making the connection with the kids  and having the
opportunity to represent them at the track is what's going to  make it special for me."
Race fans will have an opportunity to mix  and mingle with NHRA drivers
during the dinner at Chateau Elan on  Saturday.  Some of the other drivers who will
be attending include Burgess  and Ashley, Gary Scelzi, Jack Beckman, Matt
Smith, Raymond Commisso and Danny  Rowe.

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Jack Beckman , Melanie Troxel , Mike Ashley , Bob Tasca III , Frank Hawley , Roger Burgess