Phoenix: Melanie Troxel Saturday summary

Troxel continues to roll, secures No. 3 in Phoenix qualifying CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - Coming off her first Top Fuel win at the season-opening Winternationals two weeks ago, Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster driver Melanie...

Troxel continues to roll, secures No. 3 in Phoenix qualifying

CHANDLER, Ariz. (Feb. 25, 2006) - Coming off her first Top Fuel win at the season-opening Winternationals two weeks ago, Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster driver Melanie Troxel has kept that momentum going by qualifying No. 3 for the Checker Schuck's Kragen Nationals at Firebird Raceway.

Troxel set her quickest pass of the weekend in the final qualifying session on conditions similar to what are expected on race day, of 4.502-seconds at 326.48 mph. Her earlier attempts, each of which placed her in the top five, were 4.521/319.75, 4.655/283.91 and 4.532/320.97.

In the final two rounds, she was second quickest only to her teammate and No. 1 qualifier Tony Schumacher.

The No. 3 spot is in line with the team's goals coming into the weekend. "Friday night is almost the only time you're going to get the really big numbers out of the car," she said. "If you want to be No. 1 qualifier and you don't make it down the track Friday night, then it's probably not going to happen," said Troxel. "I'd much rather run good on Saturday then lay down big numbers on Friday night. We are happy with No. 3.

"We would love to come out here and have another win, but, more importantly, I think we need to maintain some consistency and go several rounds every weekend to keep us in the points race. You just have to take each round as it comes, and see where you are at the end of the day.

"We didn't start off qualifying real well, but we kept at it," added the Top Fuel points leader. "Richard (Hogan, crew chief) and the Skull Gear guys are working hard to give me a good car that is real consistent. We made it down the track every pass, which helps our confidence heading into tomorrow."

Troxel has lane choice against Bob Vandergriff Jr., in the first round of Sunday's final eliminations for the second round of the 23-event NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series.

-dsr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel , Bob Vandergriff