Memphis: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

TROXEL GRABS NO. 4 IN MEMPHIS QUALIFYING MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Melanie Troxel placed herself in a solid position today at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals by qualifying the Skull Shine/Knoll-Gas Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster No....

TROXEL GRABS NO. 4 IN MEMPHIS QUALIFYING

MEMPHIS, Tenn. (Aug. 19, 2006) - Melanie Troxel placed herself in a solid position today at the O'Reilly Mid-South Nationals by qualifying the Skull Shine/Knoll-Gas Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster No. 4 for Sunday's eliminations.

Currently second in a three-way battle for the points lead, which she held through the first 12 events of the 2006 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series, Troxel ran a session-quickest 4.620-second pass at 318.32 mph in the final qualifying stint to lock down the No. 4 spot. Her two previous runs were also strong: a 4.638/298.93 Friday night, and a 4.862/250.32 during today's mid-afternoon session.

One qualifying session was cancelled Friday when rain showers passed through Memphis Motorsports Park, delaying on-track action for over three hours. "It's a little nerve-wracking to lose a session due to weather, but we were on top of our game, and we came out and qualified No. 4 in that first session," said Troxel. "That took the pressure off, no matter what the weather did; we were in the field.

"We went down the track every pass. We didn't smoke the tires, we just lost blower belts on two of the runs. That is just a product of spinning the tires a little bit late, so the runs weren't perfect, but we have a car that will go down the track strong," said the Colorado native.

On setting the quickest pass of the final session: "That last session was definitely warmer than the Friday night session and we ran our quickest ET, and quickest of the session. That gives us a good feeling going into tomorrow. We definitely feel like we have a great car for race day."

This event is considered a "night" race as eliminations on Sunday begin at 3 p.m. "It's going to be tough out there tomorrow at 3 o'clock," said Troxel. "First round will be the hottest conditions we run into on Sunday. We'll definitely have to go up there and do a good job. If we can get past that, I feel like we definitely have a tune-up that will get stronger throughout the day as the track comes to us. We have a great chance at winning the race."

Troxel faces Hillary Will in the first round of eliminations. She has a 2-1 win-loss record against Will this season.

-credit: dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Hillary Will