Route 66 Raceway
Troxel takes step towards Countdown berth in Chicago
Melanie Troxel's quest to earn a spot in the Countdown to the Championship took an important step forward Sunday when she won an elimination round at the O'Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Route 66 Nationals.
"Our goal, even though it is a longshot, is to sneak our way into the Top 10 before Indy," Troxel said. "I'm not sure how mathematically tough it's going to be, but we know we need to go rounds on the people between us and 10th place.
"Two of those cars didn't qualify this weekend and another one we faced in Round 1 and took them out. So we made up some ground."
The competitor she and the ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car beat in the first round was Bob Bode. Troxel won the race with a pedaling, smoking run. She made it to about 100 feet before the tires started to spin on the hot, greasy racing surface at Route 66 Raceway. Bode spun the tires at the hit of the throttle and never recovered.
The ProCare Rx Toyota crossed the line in 5.732 at 174.08 mph while Bode chugged across in 16.680 seconds at 30.89 mph.
"We made some good runs this weekend," Troxel said. "We didn't beat ourselves, even on the ugly run."
Troxel's second-round opponent was Jack Beckman, and she was undone by a familiar problem. All weekend the ProCare Rx Toyota would be smooth until about 800 feet when the tires would start to spin. That's exactly what happened against Beckman and he made Troxel pay.
"We've been having trouble getting the car through the area where the clutch locks up smoothly," Troxel said. "That's what bit us there. I couldn't see Beckman at all at any point of the run until after our car started spinning the tires and eventually it ate all the teeth off the blower belt.
"Once we lost power, he came flying around. That's a great feeling when you are past half track and you don’t see the other driver. You are thinking, 'All right we're on to something.' Unfortunately it's a 1,000-foot racetrack and you've got to make it all the way to the end."
Beckman crossed the line in 4.278 seconds a 287.53 mph, while Troxel finished in 4.340 seconds at 248.93 mph. Despite the close loss, Troxel said no one in the R2B2 Racing stable is unhappy.
"We're so far ahead of where we were in the first third of the season," she said. "We're not thrilled yet, but we're definitely happy with performance of the team.
"We would have loved to have had at least one more round win. But the car is running good on a very tricky track."
By: r2b2 racing