Las Vegas II: Melanie Troxel preview

TROXEL COULD BE HEADING TOWARD HER FIRST TOP FUEL WIN LAS VEGAS (Oct. 17, 2005) - Following her semifinal finish after qualifying No. 2 in Dallas two weeks ago, where she also established herself as the quickest and fastest female driver in NHRA...

TROXEL COULD BE HEADING TOWARD HER FIRST TOP FUEL WIN

LAS VEGAS (Oct. 17, 2005) - Following her semifinal finish after qualifying No. 2 in Dallas two weeks ago, where she also established herself as the quickest and fastest female driver in NHRA history (4.458-second elapsed time, 330.31 mph) and the first female NHRA driver to hit 330 mph, Melanie Troxel could be heading for her first career Top Fuel win in these last two events of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

The Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster team, led by crew chief Richard Hogan, has made steady progress since debuting with Don Schumacher Racing back in Denver nine races ago. Troxel, Hogan and the crew have consistently improved their performance as the season wore on, and are serious contenders for their first victory at this weekend's ACDelco Las Vegas NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The season ends in Pomona, Calif., on Nov. 3-6.

"I think that we absolutely have the performance of the car where it needs to be to have a legitimate shot at winning one of these last two races," said the Colorado native who lives in Avon, Ind., with husband and Funny Car driver Tommy Johnson Jr. "It's been a slow progression since we put this new team on the track for Skull Gear, but we have finally reached the point where we know we need to be.

"We're running as good as any car out there, and we just need to capitalize on that and get all the pieces to fall in the right places to make that happen.

"The Strip is a great facility. That's always nice. It takes one more thing off your mind. You don't have to worry about the track conditions, whether that's going to play into qualifying or how you run, or if it's a one-lane track on race day. You just know going up there that the track's going to be great and we just need to do our job."

Although the weather is expected to be comfortable this weekend (80s during the day and 60s in the evening), the higher altitude of this track (2100 ft.) may be a factor in setting any new records. "The altitude does play into it a little bit," said Melanie. "But, in past experience I haven't felt that it affected the cars as much as you might think for the altitude adjustment. We'll have great weather, and great track surface conditions. We are looking forward to seeing some good times."

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Don Schumacher , Tommy Johnson Jr.