Reading: Melanie Troxel final summary

Troxel sets new career-best ET, advances to second round in Reading READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2005) - The Skull Gear/Torco Race Ruels Top Fuel dragster, with Melanie Troxel behind the wheel, continued its steady progress up the charts in the NHRA...

Troxel sets new career-best ET, advances to second round in Reading

READING, Pa. (Sept. 18, 2005) - The Skull Gear/Torco Race Ruels Top Fuel dragster, with Melanie Troxel behind the wheel, continued its steady progress up the charts in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series after debuting seven races ago in Denver.

After qualifying fifth for this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals with an elapsed time that was Troxel's career-best at the time (4.550), she demolished it in the first round of eliminations today by posting a 4.509-second ET at 322.65 mph, while beating Clay Millican's 5.865/152.66 and recording the second quickest ET of that round. Only her teammate Tony Schumacher surpassed her with a 4.479-second ET.

Troxel advanced to the second round for the third time this year to face Morgan Lucas. It was a close race down the quarter-mile, but it was Lucas first at the finish line with a 4.536/324.98 to Troxel's excellent yet losing 4.558/320.43.

"We're certainly seeing the car coming around," she said. "We knew it had the potential all along, but (crew chief) Richard Hogan is definitely getting a better handle on the tune-up.

"We're going down the track a lot more consistently. We made huge progress here this weekend, Another round win. We continue to make progress every race we go to. I think we've got a car that's right there in the hunt to win races.

"To get it (career-best ET) is a good sign. It still feels comfortable. I don't think it's quite set in yet, but it's nice to be finally running a little closer to what the Army car (Tony Schumacher) runs. We're getting there."

Troxel's 4.509-second ET makes her the quickest female in NHRA history. She succeeds Rhonda Hartman-Smith, who had previously clocked a 4.523 in 2003. Shirley Muldowney remains the fastest female in NHRA history, with her speed of 327.66 mph, set in 2003.

"I have used the 'quickest and fastest female' designation in the media myself, so I can't totally dismiss it," said Troxel of this feat. "But, in all reality, I'm the only female competing right now in Top Fuel. So, it's an interesting fact, but it doesn't really mean anything to us.

"We want to be the quickest and fastest car out here. It doesn't have anything to do with being male or female.

"I think it's way more important that we've stepped up and we've got a very competitive car right now."

Next on NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series' schedule is the O'Reilly NHRA Nationals, Sept. 23-25, 2005.

-dsr-

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Series NHRA
Drivers Clay Millican , Shirley Muldowney , Rhonda Hartman-Smith , Tony Schumacher , Melanie Troxel , Morgan Lucas