TROXEL, SKULL GEAR TEAM PUMPED UP AFTER NO. 5 QUALIFYING EFFORT READING, Pa. (Sept. 17, 2005) - Melanie Troxel keeps one-upping herself. In only her seventh event of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and for the second straight national...
TROXEL, SKULL GEAR TEAM PUMPED UP AFTER NO. 5 QUALIFYING EFFORT
READING, Pa. (Sept. 17, 2005) - Melanie Troxel keeps one-upping herself. In only her seventh event of the 2005 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series and for the second straight national event, she set a career-best elapsed-time in the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster.
Troxel, whose best qualifying effort before today was No. 7 in Memphis, qualified fifth for this weekend's Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway with a 4.550-second lap at 320.20 mph, set in the final qualifying session.
Her previous qualifying runs this weekend produced a 9.427/83.15 after losing traction, a strong 4.610/325.92 pass Friday evening, and a 4.932/210.60 earlier today, when the car got loose midway down the quarter-mile.
"In that last session the car was on a great run," said Troxel. "Then it started moving around on the track a lot. I got it to the finish line and ran a 4.55, which is a new personal best for me.
"It's exciting to see the good numbers pop up, even though it was clearly not a perfect run.
"After looking at the video and the computer, we've decided the Skull Gear/Torco Race Fuels car needs a little more front wing in it.
"In the first pass today, the car was on a great run. I got out past half track and it was moving to the left out of the groove, and when I tried to bring it back it made a violent move across the track. I opted to lift off of that one and not take any chances. I knew it was going to be a good run, so I was kind of disappointed," said Troxel.
"I tend to be a little more aggressive than most car owners or crew chiefs would prefer on some qualifying passes. I don't mind driving the car when it's out of the groove. When it makes a violent move like that, and you feel the lean of the car when it tries to come back, it gives you that sensation that the car is up on two wheels. It was pretty out of control; it got my attention."
Troxel is upbeat heading into Sunday's final eliminations, where she faces Clay Millican in the first round. "We've got a little bit more in the car, so I think we'll see some better ET's tomorrow," she said.