Melanie Troxel Firebird Raceway final report

R2B2 Racing press release

Melanie Troxel Firebird Raceway final report

Troxel tripped by faulty spark plugs

Melanie Troxel, In-N-Out/ Toyota Camry
Melanie Troxel, In-N-Out/ Toyota Camry

Photo by: Michael C. Johnson

PHOENIX (Oct. 16) – The parts issues that chased Melanie Troxel and the In-N-Out Burger Toyota Funny Car all weekend at the NHRA Arizona Nationals caught up with them once again in Sunday's eliminations.

Troxel faced Johnny Gray in the first round. At the step of the throttle, Troxel's car dropped a cylinder running a 4.393-second lap at 279.32 mph despite not being up to full song. Gray won the race by running a 4.231 at 288.33 mph.

"Aaron Brooks and John Medlen had it set up to run a low 4.20," Troxel said. "Running this morning we had the best conditions we'd seen all weekend, so we were ready to go after it.

"Unfortunately we've been struggling with a spark plug problem, which was the beginnings of our problems in our run today."

Troxel said the entire team was frustrated because they believed that the win was there for the taking.

"They ran a number we could have beaten," Troxel said. "But we didn't capitalize on it."

With at least one more warm weather track left on the schedule, Troxel said the team is taking heart that once the parts problems are solved, the tune-up itself is in the right range.

"Despite our performance this weekend the tune-up was pretty much right on," Troxel said. "We dropped holes, kicked the belts off, shot spark plugs out of the engine, but we never smoked the tires on any run on a track that was very difficult.

"We went down the track. We went thought the trouble spots and just had a few issues we weren't able to solve."

The In-N-Out Burger team will waste no time getting the problems fixed. Despite a scheduled week off before the Oct. 28-30 Big O Tires NHRA Nationals, the crew is going to drive straight to Las Vegas for a couple of days of testing this week.

"We're already making our plans to go testing," Troxel said. "We'll root out what's going wrong and look forward to a strong performance in Vegas."

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