Melanie Troxel Saturday Qualifying at Topeka

Heartland Park Topeka

Troxel and team make the field for second race in a row

TOPEKA, Kan. – Nothing has been easy this year for Melanie Troxel and the ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car team.

Troxel put her car into the starting line-up for the second time this year, but earning a spot on the NHRA Summer Nationals elimination ladder was far from a breeze.

"We literally went to start the car for the second qualifying pass and had no oil pressure," Troxel said. "We changed oil pumps and changed a couple of different things, then decided to change the engine, all at the last minute. Thank God we have such a veteran group on this crew. They handled it like pros."

Melanie Troxel
Melanie Troxel

Photo by: Motorsport.com / ASP Inc.

Crew chief Aaron Brooks has been working on getting the chassis in shape and dealing with an engine that at times has been temperamental. On Friday night, Brooks and the crew did a full engine swap in about 20 minutes to get the ProCare Rx Toyota to the starting line with only moments to spare.

"When most teams were pulling to the staging lanes, we were pulling the engine out," Troxel said. "It something that people in the stands or watching on TV might not realize, but our guys worked their butts off to get this car turned around in time to make it to the line."

Troxel's best pass of the weekend was in 4.133 seconds at 304.74 mph, which put her 12th in the elimination bracket.

"We're not exactly where we need to be just yet," Troxel said. "But we're closing in on it. Certainly, we're feeling better each time out."

The Colorado native that now lives in the Atlanta area is paired against No. 5 qualifier Cruz Pedregon in Sunday's first round. He went 4.072 at 298.01 mph.

"We've got a car that is making one or two good runs a weekend right now," Troxel said. "If we keep picking away at it, the more consistent it's going to become. Then the wins will start coming our way. Hopefully we hit on it tomorrow."

-source: r2b2 racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Cruz Pedregon , Melanie Troxel
Tags funny car, r2b2 racing, summer nationals