Troxel Puts Simayof Jewelers Dodge 14th in Vegas Starting Line-up LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2008 -- Melanie Troxel turned in two good qualifying runs Saturday and used her Friday elapsed time of 4.936 seconds at 319.90 mph to claim the 14th...
Troxel Puts Simayof Jewelers Dodge 14th in Vegas Starting Line-up
LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2008 -- Melanie Troxel turned in two good qualifying runs Saturday and used her Friday elapsed time of 4.936 seconds at 319.90 mph to claim the 14th starting Funny Car berth for Sunday's SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
The performance ended three races of frustration for the Simayof Jewelers Dodge Charger R/T team and sends her against Bob Tasca III in the first round of eliminations. Ironically, Tasca also is a Funny Car rookie and the two squared off in the season-opening event at Pomona, Calif., with Tasca getting the win.
During a test session at Houston after the NHRA event, crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald decided to switch chassis, and this one did what the other didn't -- get down the track consistently. On an unpredictable racing surface, Troxel had quarter-mile passes of 5.109 and 4.986 seconds Saturday and she feels much more comfortable in the car.
"This has been a big turnaround for us this weekend," she said. "I feel much better in the car. Each pass we made made a huge difference for me and now I have a good confidence level going into race day.
"We aren't running as quick as we want to but we made it down the track three out of four runs. That's a big improvement for us. We'll just keep tweaking on the tune-up until we get it running a little quicker. It runs real good on the second half of the track but it's just a little slow early."
As formeeting Tasca again, Troxel added: "He's the only other person I've ever raced in Funny Car. Everybody's tough out there but, at the same time, everybody is struggling a little bit. It's anybody's game out there on race day . . . and it is good to be playing on Sunday"