St. Louis: Melanie Troxel preview

Points leader Troxel an early favorite for St. Louis Pro Mod title ST. LOUIS (April 28) -- Confidence is overflowing at the In-N-Out Burger Pro Mod pits as driver Melanie Troxel carries the series points lead into this weekend's 14th annual AAA...

Points leader Troxel an early favorite for St. Louis Pro Mod title

ST. LOUIS (April 28) -- Confidence is overflowing at the In-N-Out Burger Pro Mod pits as driver Melanie Troxel carries the series points lead into this weekend's 14th annual AAA Insurance Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway.

Troxel, who drives the '63 Corvette fielded by R2B2 Racing, heads into this race hot off a runner-up finish in Houston. Even after the team's strong outing, which lifted her to the points lead after two of 10 races on the schedule, Troxel and crew stayed and tested all three of R2B2's Pro Mod racecars, and she said they are all running in top form.

"(Team owner) Roger Burgess has really made a commitment to the Pro Mod program," Troxel said. "He's investing the necessary time and money into building the program to be the best it can be. Our crew chiefs, Al Billes and Bob Newberry, are taking advantage of that, so we've done a lot of testing."

During those testing sessions, Troxel said the tuners have had ample opportunity to work on different setups to see which ones would be the most consistent.

"We've been trying a lot of different things and making good use of the time at the track," Troxel said. "That's been one of the great things about having Bob Newberry come on board; he has a different perspective on things.

"We don't take one tune-up and make a ton of laps on it. Bob has his own ideas on how he wants the car run and things he wants to try. Not all of them work, but we've found some things that really show promise."

Troxel pointed to her performance on the hot, greasy track in Houston as an example of how the R2B2 mechanical team works together. Troxel's car wasn't the fastest that day, but it went down the quarter-mile consistently every time.

"We didn't make the final in Houston by running incredibly low ETs -- it was by getting down the racetrack every round," Troxel said. "The next day we weren't testing on a national record track. We were testing on a marginal racetrack, and working on getting down the kind of marginal racetracks we'll face during the summer months.

One damper to the coming weekend is that Troxel's Dodge Charger R/T Funny Car will be left at the team shop for the first time this year while the group searches for additional funding to run the balance of the season.

Troxel said that she'll actually miss the double-duty opportunity and it gives her more incentive to put the In-N-Out Burger Corvette into the victory circle and extend her Pro Mod points lead.

"I've gotten used to begin extremely busy when we are running both of the cars," she said. "I've been having fun with it. But I'm focusing on the positive, which is the fact we've got a really good Pro Mod car."

-source: melanie troxel racing

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Newberry , Melanie Troxel , Roger Burgess