TROXEL COMES ON STRONG IN TEXAS, LANDS IN SEMIS DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - Melanie Troxel tore through the Top Fuel field today in the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster after qualifying second for the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the...
TROXEL COMES ON STRONG IN TEXAS, LANDS IN SEMIS
DALLAS (Oct. 9, 2005) - Melanie Troxel tore through the Top Fuel field today in the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster after qualifying second for the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals at the Texas Motorplex, earning her first semifinal finish of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series season.
The Colorado native who made her re-debut with Don Schumacher Racing in Denver of this year first eliminated Scot Weis with a 4.597-second lap at 319.75 mph, then put Larry Dixon (her husband Tommy Johnson Jr.'s teammate) on the trailer with a 4.558/327.43 to Dixon's 4.817/311.27. She met her match in the semifinal against her teammate Tony Schumacher.
Troxel took off first at the starting light, with a .104 reaction time to Schumacher's .115, but a loss of traction at about 300 feet ended her excellent weekend run, as she crossed the finish line with a 7.127/123.56 to Schumacher's winning 4.550/327.51.
"For the first hour or two after you lose you're bummed out," said Troxel, who was runner-up here in 2000, the last time she drove for DSR, "but, when you look back at the weekend as a whole, we made huge strides in qualifying, made it to the semis and, unfortunately, we lost.
"It's great that Tony moved on and won the event. It moved him closer to clinching the title, but we were looking for our first win of the year.
"It's a tough loss, but we're definitely making progress and we're all excited about getting to the next race and see what we can do."
Troxel had lane choice over Schumacher, who had a tire-smoking win in the second round against Morgan Lucas. "I know Richard (Hogan, crew chief) was pretty concerned about lane choice," she said, "even though we did get down that right lane. Definitely the left was the preferred lane. At least we thought it was a little better than it was.
"We put a fresh supercharger on it, which may be part of why we overpowered the track. It had a little more pressure than our last supercharger did. It was a brand-new one and we didn't have any runs on it.
"It's just one more lesson we learned, and we'll go on to the next race."
Next up is the ACDelco Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas on Oct. 21-23.