TROXEL HAS TOUGH DAY IN SEATTLE WITH EARLY EXIT KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2006) - Melanie Troxel, driver of the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster, entered today's Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways with ...
TROXEL HAS TOUGH DAY IN SEATTLE WITH EARLY EXIT
KENT, Wash. (July 23, 2006) - Melanie Troxel, driver of the Skull Shine/Knoll Gas-Torco Race Fuels Top Fuel dragster, entered today's Schuck's Auto Supply NHRA Nationals at Pacific Raceways with thoughts of reclaiming her lead in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series Top Fuel point standings, which she relinquished last weekend in Denver. But a first-round loss to Denver winner J.R. Todd put a damper on her weekend after a strong showing to qualify No. 4.
Troxel had lane choice on the slick, hot track in that round and posted a solid reaction time of .092 of a second (.000 is perfect), but her quicker 4.675-second pass at 313.44 mph was not enough to stage off Todd's .058 reaction time and slower but holeshot-winning 4.682/311.05 pass.
With points leader Doug Kalitta exiting in the second round, Troxel now trails him by 40 points in the rankings.
"I felt like we had a pretty good handle on this track, so to come out and lose is frustrating," said the 33-year-old Colorado native. "As a driver, a holeshot loss hurts a little extra.
"That was a good light for me. It wasn't a spectacular light for me, but the chances of us beating his .058 light with the way we set our car up was pretty slim." The margin of victory was .0275 of a second.
"We need to seriously turn this deal around," she added. "There's not any one thing that you can point to and say that has changed. We just don't seem to be having any luck, and I hate to say that, because it's certainly not all luck out here. You just have to get a little momentum, or mojo, or whatever, and we don't have that right now. We're hoping to find something to get things turned around out here.
"It's nice that we had a better handle on this race track than we did in Denver, and hopefully we can carry some of that knowledge through the rest of the summer. Richard (Hogan, crew chief) seems to have found a better setup for these hot tracks, so that is good for us. We'll be OK. Maybe we just need a stupid little superstition or something to give us a spark.
"We'll just gather ourselves and head to Sonoma (Calif.). There's not much else we can do at this point."
Next up is the Fram-Autolite NHRA Nationals at Infineon Raceway in Sonoma, Calif., July 28-30.