Joliet: Melanie Troxel Saturday notes

Melanie Troxel makes historic blast to No. 1 in Chicago JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2008) - ProCare Rx driver Melanie Troxel made history tonight as the first female to take the top qualifying position in Funny Car as she raced to the head of the pack...

Melanie Troxel makes historic blast to No. 1 in Chicago

JOLIET, Ill. (June 7, 2008) - ProCare Rx driver Melanie Troxel made history tonight as the first female to take the top qualifying position in Funny Car as she raced to the head of the pack with a blistering 4.752-second 327.27 m.p.h. quarter-mile in qualifying at the Torco Race Fuels NHRA Route 66 Nationals.

The final qualifying session originally scheduled for 4:00 p.m. was postponed more than three hours due to severe thunderstorms and tornado warnings. When the track was finally cleared and racing resumed, the atmospheric conditions had improved dramatically, giving crew chief Brian Corradi the opportunity to push Melanie's ProCare Rx Dodge Charger R/T to the limit and all the way to the top spot.

"If we had run this session on time, I don't think you'd have seen a lot of .70s -- maybe a couple, but we really needed it to cool off and the track to tighten up like it did in order for us to go full bore at it and give the track everything we had," Troxel said.

"We went up there to try a few different things, and just get down the track, and, honestly, I had never run a .70 before, so I wasn't really anticipating that we were going to take that number one spot away, but I knew the second I hit the throttle that the car was on a seriously good run, and it was quite a handful out there. It was a pretty wild ride," she said.

"We got down the track on Friday, but not in the night time session, so we came into today not even in the field, so that's always a stressful way to start out the weekend. We laid a good number down there in the third qualifying session -- especially for the heat of the day, and we were pretty happy with that.

Troxel is quick to share her feelings about her unique position as a successful female driver, saying that although she relishes the milestones, she sees herself as compared to other drivers regardless of their gender.

"For any driver, you want to be the number one qualifier and you want to win races, but being the first female to do that in a Funny Car isn't really that important to me. Getting my first number one in a Funny Car is great -- that's the real milestone for me personally. I measure myself not compared to the other females in the sport, but everyone," she said.

Troxel will face off against Gary Densham in the first round of eliminations Sunday, scheduled to begin at 11:00 a.m. Central Daylight time.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Densham , Melanie Troxel