Richmond: Melanie Troxel preview

Round wins would bring relief to Troxel, R2B2 RacingFunny Car team at Richmond Unpredictable would be the best way to describe Melanie Troxel's first 21 races in her inaugural NHRA season driving Funny Cars. There have been the highs -- her...

Round wins would bring relief to Troxel, R2B2 RacingFunny Car team at Richmond
Unpredictable would be the best way to describe Melanie Troxel's first 21 races in her inaugural NHRA season driving Funny Cars.

There have been the highs -- her first category victory at Bristol, Tenn., in May, her first No. 1 qualifying effort at Chicago/Joliet in June, and her march to the semifinals in the fabled U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis.

As the 22nd event -- the Virginia Nationals at Virginia Motorsports Park, Friday through Sunday in Dinwiddie, outside Richmond -- approaches, the four-time Top Fuel winner and 15-time finalist would like to add to her accomplishments before the curtain falls in Pomona, Calif., November 16.

At the top of her list is boosting her winning total. It's possible because her R2B2 Racing Dodge Charger R/T has qualified in the top eight at the last four races while making solid runs. Her best 1000-foot run of 4.096 seconds at 304.67 mph came at Dallas and was just a few ticks faster than the 4.096 at 302.55 mph she ran at Seattle in July.

But that has not recently translated to round wins."For some reason over the last four races, the car's performance is there but we haven't been getting round wins," said Troxel.J"We don't seem to be getting any breaks and, on some level, you make your own luck. We're trying to change that."

She would be quite happy to replicate her Top Fuel runner-up finish of a year ago at VMP -- take it one step higher.

"Half of our agenda for the last part of the season has been testing for next year," Troxel continued. "We have to win rounds.JWe're not getting the job done . . . and we have to change that. We wanted to go out on a high note, maybe win a race. The performance is definitely there during qualifying, but if you aren't getting round wins, it really doesn't matter."

Only races at Las Vegas (Oct. 31-Nov. 2) and Pomona, Calif. (Nov. 13-16) remain before the winter hiatus begins.

-credit: r2b2

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Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel