OSWALD BLASTS TO NO. 4 AND TROXEL GRABS 14TH AS TEAM GOTHAM BLOWS INTO THE WINDY CITY JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2008) - It was a windy day at Route 66 Raceway just outside Chicago, adding to the excitement and drama for Gotham City Racing fans.
OSWALD BLASTS TO NO. 4 AND TROXEL GRABS 14TH AS TEAM GOTHAM BLOWS INTO THE WINDY CITY
JOLIET, Ill. (June 6, 2008) - It was a windy day at Route 66 Raceway just outside Chicago, adding to the excitement and drama for Gotham City Racing fans. ProCare Rx driver Melanie Troxel landed in the 14th spot with two strong runs, while former Funny Car champion Mark Oswald filled in for team co-owner/driver Mike Ashley and took team top honors in the A&R Transport car by grabbing the provisional No. 4 spot with his career quickest and fastest run of 4.783/324.67.
Oswald is normally a co-crew chief on Melanie Troxel's Dodge Charger and has not driven competitively since 1997, was tapped to drive late Thursday night by Ashley who was once again called into critical duty at his mortgage company, Lend America and was unable to compete at this weekend's Torco Race Fuels NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
"The nature of Mike's business right now is very hectic and demanding, so we all support him as he has to take care of business at home. One of our sponsors, A&R Transport, is based here in Joliet, and we really wanted to have both cars out here form them, so I agreed to drive the car this weekend," Oswald said.
Aaron Brooks, crew chief on the A&R car, was extremely pleased with his driver's performance. "He'd doing incredibly well, especially considering he hasn't made may laps in the car. He's tested for us, but he hasn't made a full pull to the finish line in over ten years. We're really just a couple of thousandths out of the second spot, so, I'd say we all did great today," Brooks said.
Melanie Troxel delivered two consistent runs to take the No. 14 spot. Her first pass of 4.859/326.16 was the fourth-quickest of that session, while her second pass slowed slightly to 4.879/315.71.
"We made a great run out of the box, an .85 which put us number four after the first round. In the night run, the car dropped a cylinder, got over close to the wall on me, but I got it to the finish line under power.
"There seems to be some problem with the car, a reason why it keeps dropping cylinders, but we'll sort it out and I have every confidence we'll come out here tomorrow and do what's necessary to get into the show on Sunday," she said.
Crew chief Brian Corradi agreed, "I wish we could have that one back because we should have run a mid-70. We'll definitely pinpoint the problem and get this car running just like the A&R car. The cars are set up the same, so we can get a lot of data from both of them to guide us in our tuning."
Brooks added, "The whole team is really coming together, and we're all working hard to get both cars running well. We're really excited about tomorrow, because we should see more opportunities for good times, and of course, we're excited about Sunday."
Qualifying continues Saturday with sessions scheduled at 1:00 and 4:00 p.m., with eliminations scheduled to begin Sunday at 11:00 a.m.