Dallas: Troxel to sub for schumacher

Ft. Knox, Ky. - October 18, 2000 - The U.S. Army and Schumacher Racing Corp. announced last Thursday that they have recruited one of Top Fuel's elite female drivers - Melanie Troxel - to assume driving responsibilities for "The Sarge". The ...

Ft. Knox, Ky. - October 18, 2000 - The U.S. Army and Schumacher Racing Corp. announced last Thursday that they have recruited one of Top Fuel's elite female drivers - Melanie Troxel - to assume driving responsibilities for "The Sarge". The decision comes just days after Tony Schumacher's harrowing accident in Memphis, Tenn., from which he was lucky to escape with only a broken fibula and cracked heel. Troxel, Schumacher's teammate, will compete in his place at the O'Reilly Fall Nationals in Dallas and the Matco Tools SuperNationals in Houston. Troxel, a Colorado-native, became a member of the Schumacher Racing team in early 2000 after she impressed team owner and Funny Car pioneer, Don Schumacher, by nearly passing his son - the 1999 world champion - in round two of eliminations in Phoenix. About the race, Tony Schumacher noted, "She was there with me the whole way. It was too close for comfort." However, he followed that up with encouraging words about gaining her as an integral part of the Schumacher Racing team. "She fits right in and has experience from other classes. She'll be a tough racer and a great teammate." The previous year, Troxel earned two national event wins and two runner-ups racing the IN-N-OUT Burgers Federal Mogul Dragster. She also set 11 track records. She has carved a place as one of the best drivers in drag racing's ultimate class, Top Fuel. Although this is an exceptionally rare feat for a woman, it comes as no surprise to those who are familiar with Troxel's racing heritage. Watching her father, Mike Troxel, the 1988 Alcohol Dragster World Champion, Melanie grew up at the races. At age 16, she decided to race at the High School Drags at Bandimere. She spent the next 11 years establishing herself as one of the premier auto racers today. Her racing legacy is similar to that of her teammate Tony Schumacher, who ultimately succeeded his father as an NHRA world champion. The successful family heritage was a significant factor when the Army selected Schumacher Racing for its first foray in NHRA racing in nearly twenty years. While Schumacher recuperates, Troxel is enthusiastic about this opportunity to support her team. "I am proud to be the one who is filling in for Tony while he recovers. They are big shoes to fill, but I can't imagine anyone else being the one to do it. We are a team and until 'The Sarge' is back, it will be my job to follow the lead he has established," Troxel said when asked about stepping into the Army position. Troxel's experience, proven success and dedication to her team made her the ideal person to assume driving Team Army's top-fuel dragster while Schumacher is out. Colonel Kevin Kelley of the U.S. Army Recruiting Command said, "Tony has been a true leader in NHRA racing and was an ideal fit to represent us from the beginning. We are confident that Melanie will be an exceptional driver for our team and will continue the tradition Tony has started." Troxel has also received accolades from team coach Don Schumacher. "She is a very good driver and will be able to win races at this level. We feel fortunate to have her on the team." At each appearance, Troxel will be accompanied by the Army Training Center - a special interactive area for race attendees featuring a rock-climbing area, safe combat training games, a replica showcar of the Army's Top Fuel dragster, and other events and activities. In addition to the on-site excitement, the Army dragster and Troxel will be making special appearances at local schools, along with local Army dignitaries.

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher