TOP FUEL POINTS LEADER TROXEL PUTS TOGETHER CONSISTENT ROUNDS TO QUALIFY NO. 4 IN VEGAS LAS VEGAS (April 8, 2006) - Except for one tire-smoking qualifying round in the heat of the day today, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel...
TOP FUEL POINTS LEADER TROXEL PUTS TOGETHER CONSISTENT ROUNDS TO QUALIFY NO. 4 IN VEGAS
LAS VEGAS (April 8, 2006) - Except for one tire-smoking qualifying round in the heat of the day today, NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel posted a string of consistent laps to qualify No. 4 for the NHRA SummitRacing.com Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Her best pass of the weekend came in the final session today - 4.543 seconds at 325.92 mph - with the track surface still registering a blistering 115-plus degrees. Troxel's other laps included a 4.577/322.65, a 4.585/304.87 while blowing the side panels off the body of the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster (the body was then replaced), and a 9.385/84.16.
Troxel, crew chief Richard Hogan and the Skull Gear team are glad they didn't have to scramble for a spot in the last session, as they did at the past two events. "It was a huge relief to come out first pass and get a nice solid number," she said. "That allowed us to try some different things in the later sessions, instead of scrambling like we did the last two races. That should put us in a better position than we have been in entering race day."
That final pass bumped her up two spots to No. 4. "That last pass was really the test to see what we could do on a hot track," she said, "and we went down it. It should be a good indication of how the car will perform tomorrow."
Despite her hot streak of reaching the final round in the last five consecutive events, Troxel is wisely cautious. "You never want to go out there on Sunday and look past that first round; that's usually when you go out early. It's the toughest one, and it makes you the most nervous as a driver. Once you get that one out of the way things seem to flow.
"We've had all the possible scenarios already this year. We've qualified well, not qualified well, not qualified until the last session, but the nice thing about it is Richard and the Skull Gear guys always put all the pieces together and give me a car that can go down the track on Sunday."
She faces David Baca in the first round of eliminations on Sunday.