Old Bridge Township Raceway Park
Memorial Day an extension of Troxel and team's ongoing salute to veterans
ENGLISHTOWN, N.J. -- Like most Americans, superstar drag racer Melanie Troxel and the members of her R2B2 Racing team spent Memorial Day weekend enjoying a little time off while reflecting on the sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces.
What sets Troxel and crew apart, however, is the fact that every race weekend is a mini-salute of sorts for the veterans they routinely invite to the track. A brainchild of team owner Roger Burgess, who fought in Vietnam, R2B2 Racing hosts a small group of local veterans at each race to share stories, camaraderie, and some old fashioned horsepower with team spokesman and Medal of Honor recipient Jon Cavaiani.
"We've met some incredible people, true American heroes, over the past few years and it's really turned into something that's very special for all of us," said Troxel, who is preparing for this coming weekend's NHRA SuperNationals at Old Bridge Township Raceway Park. "We were just discussing how cool it is that everyone in this country takes a weekend to salute the men and women who served and gave so much of themselves, and we're honored that we're able to do that every race."
National event weekends can be extremely hectic, especially for Troxel who races in both Funny Car and Pro Mod. But the time she gets to spend each Saturday with her VIP guests has become a welcome addition to her routine.
"It really keeps everything in it's proper perspective," Troxel said. "I'm not sure who benefits from it more -- our guests of honor or all of us on the team. It's really inspiring."
After spending some quality time with Cavaiani and her new friends, Troxel gets to work qualifying her 8,000-horsepower ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car and her ProCare Rx Corvette Pro Mod machine.
"We're really making progress with the Funny Car and I'm expecting we'll take a few more steps this weekend," she said. "Pro Mod should be a little more interesting than normal because I'm switching to a turbocharged car, the one Roger has been driving. It's a little bit different as far as how you stage and get the motor revved up but I'm really excited about the car. Roger has been setting low ET everywhere we've been so we all know what the car is capable of, and I'm ready to take a turn."
Troxel has collected victories in four different NHRA categories and is the only female in history with wins in the sport's top two classes, Top Fuel and Funny Car.
-source: r2b2 racing