Phoenix: Melanie Troxel preview

TROXEL READY FOR PHOENIX REBOUND PHOENIX (Feb. 19) -- Despite a sluggish start in the 2007 NHRA POWERade series, Melanie Troxel, driver of the Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA memorial Top Fuel dragster for Torco Racing Fuels, is quite acquainted with...

TROXEL READY FOR PHOENIX REBOUND

PHOENIX (Feb. 19) -- Despite a sluggish start in the 2007 NHRA POWERade series, Melanie Troxel, driver of the Vietnam Veterans/POW-MIA memorial Top Fuel dragster for Torco Racing Fuels, is quite acquainted with the Firebird Raceway and after making it to the final round last year, she apprehends fully the next step up is the most rewarding.

In the 2006 version of the Checkers Schuck's Kragen Nationals, Troxel had drummed out Bob Vandergriff, David Grubnic and Larry Dixon leaving Rod Fuller as her opponent in the final round. In a close neck and neck battle, Fuller just eased by running a 4.563 time to Troxel's competitive 4.589 elapsed time

In the first round, she set the tone for her team by setting her best time of the weekend laying down a time of 4.484 seconds "We ran so well in the beginning of 2006, I don't have any issues with the racetracks we're going to," said fourth place points finisher, Troxel. "On top of that, we tested earlier there this year. It's now up to us as a team to go out there and sort out a few topics that we still have with the car from Pomona. I feel very strongly that if we resolve those questions and get it sorted out, we should be good as any team out there."

The second race of the year can rally their points position in the Top Fuel standings. Going into Phoenix, Troxel has 32 points after her first round loss in Pomona, but is only two away from gaining entrance into the NHRA POWERade top 10.

The Avon, Indiana. resident with her husband, Funny Car driver, Tommy Johnson was the No. 3 qualifier in the 2006 edition with a time of 4.502 seconds at a speed of 326.48 mph.

"We have a lot confidence with the way Richard Hogan tunes the car," said Troxel. "We changed a few things over the winter with the clutch and some small changes to the chassis. So, we knew there would be a small learning curve there and Richard is still trying to sort a few things out and get a handle on them, not that there's anything wrong with the car. Just trying to learn the small differences between what we had last year and what we have this year. I know we're definitely a better team than our performance showed last weekend. Over the next couple of races, I think you'll really see both Morgan's team and ours make some definite improvements. I think once we get on a little bit better plane between our two teams then we'll be able to take full advantage of the two-car aspect of the team sharing that information aiding us in progressing faster."

-credit: lor

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Series NHRA
Drivers Larry Dixon , Tommy Johnson , David Grubnic , Melanie Troxel , Bob Vandergriff , Rod Fuller