Gainesville: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

'LUCK OF THE IRISH' IN TROXEL'S FAVOR GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17) -- Melanie Troxel may have to rely on the 'Luck of the Irish' to overcome the consequences that she has set before her. She placed her Vietnam Veterans Memorial dragster into...

'LUCK OF THE IRISH' IN TROXEL'S FAVOR

GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17) -- Melanie Troxel may have to rely on the 'Luck of the Irish' to overcome the consequences that she has set before her. She placed her Vietnam Veterans Memorial dragster into the No. 14 position with her pass of 4.638 seconds at 288.95 mph. She will race Tony Schumacher when the green light flashes at 11 a.m. when the 38th annual ACDelco Gatornationals commences.

"We're qualified on the one pass that we did make it to the finish line today," said Troxel. "The car was spinning the tires and dropping cylinders on our qualifying run so I lifted early, so it probably would have run 4.58-4.59, right there, which would have equaled low E.T. (elapsed time) for the session. It's seems everyone is struggling with this track and there are only a few cars that have made it more that once down the track. Obviously, we're not running as well as we would like, but I don't feel we're that far behind anybody else. This is just a tricky track and for tomorrow we're hoping the conditions will continue to get better. I think we have as good of shot as anybody else at it. We'll just have to hit the setup right tomorrow."

Last year's final round pitted Troxel against David Grubnic (.093) (4.943 ET, 317.90 MPH -- (.089) 7.995 ET, 93.59 MPH) with the Australian racer winning the event, but at the same time extending Troxel's incredible 2006 pace of three consecutive final round appearances up to that point.

"Last year we got a runner-up at this track and we started that year out so incredibly that I think we were in a little bit of a daze by the time we got here," said an optimistic Troxel. "Our present record speaks for itself. We had a runner-up the last race in Phoenix, so I know we're capable of winning the event. We're going to have to get out there and see how the track is in the morning. We have a car that will run in the 4.50s and I think that will be plenty good for tomorrow. The key is just getting down the track because it does appear to be a little difficult."

With the prestige that is associated with a victory at the Gatornationals, Troxel is primed and after last year's runner-up result, she wants to see four win lights on Sunday.

"The Gatornationals is one of those big events just short of the U.S. Nationals and I don't think I can think of another National event that I would like to come away with a win."

-credit: lor

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel