TROXEL HOLDS ON TO TOP FUEL POINTS LEAD WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN ST. LOUIS MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2006) - Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel entered today's O'Reilly Midwest NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway with a 48-point...
TROXEL HOLDS ON TO TOP FUEL POINTS LEAD WITH QUARTERFINAL FINISH IN ST. LOUIS
MADISON, Ill. (June 25, 2006) - Top Fuel points leader Melanie Troxel entered today's O'Reilly Midwest NHRA Nationals at Gateway International Raceway with a 48-point lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series standings and, despite a tough quarterfinal loss to No. 2 in points Doug Kalitta, she holds onto the lead by 24 points.
Troxel had lane choice against Kalitta in the second round after defeating Hillary Will in the opening stanza, and ran a quicker 4.687-second elapsed time at 313.22 mph to Kalitta's 4.708/323.27, but his outstanding reaction time (.038 of a second, .000 is perfect) made all the difference in his holeshot win.
Troxel's reaction time of .091 was good by anyone's standards, but was not enough to change the outcome. Troxel's ET was the best of that round and this was her first holeshot loss of the season.
The primetime match-up against Kalitta was an important round for both. "Obviously, that was a huge race, going head-to-head against the No. 2 guy," said Troxel. "I really wanted to win that, but unfortunately he pulled out a .038 light. Doug has some great lights, but even that is kind of out there. As far as I'm concerned, it kind of falls under the bad-luck category; he really pulled one out of the hat."
Kalitta was knocked out in the semifinals, allowing Troxel to maintain the the lead she has held since the first event of the season, "It's a big relief," said the Colorado native. "We definitely have caught some breaks in the last few races, but you have to have that in any successful season. We leave this race with the points lead, and now we can just go back to the shop and regroup for Denver."
Troxel is confident heading into the second half of the season. "We definitely had the best car out there second round, so we're on the right track. We just have to keep working at it and picking up points. There is still a long way to go, but we feel great about our position."
Next up is the Mopar Mile-High NHRA Nationals at Bandimere Speedway (Denver), July 14-16.