NHRA NEWS: New hope, new sponsor lifts Troxel's Funny Car team
Melanie Troxel’s first race day of the season was briefer than ideal, but after a slow start to the season just being a part of the elimination rounds at the 31st annual Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals was a major step in the right direction.
"We made real improvement qualifying the Funny Car this weekend," Troxel said. "We’re seeing a positive change in the chassis. We don’t have it entirely figured out yet, but a least we are not doing the same thing all the time."
Troxel and the ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car lost in the first round to Jack Beckman when the car’s tires spun off the start. She also fell in the second round of Get Screened America Pro Mod Series racing to Troy Coughlin on a holeshot.
Against Beckman, Troxel drove to a 7.755 second lap at 98.98 mph as she smoked and pedaled her way down the Atlanta Dragway track. Beckman ran a solid 4.083 at 311.56 mph. Nevertheless, Troxel said the entire weekend was a lift to the team and a big step forward for the whole program.
"We’ve got a lot of new technology coming to the team," Troxel said. "(R2B2 Racing VP of research and development) John Medlen is a new set of eyes and has a different way of thinking about things. There’s just more good things to come."
In the RoadRage.com supercharged Camaro, Troxel ran a 5.963-second pass at 245.94 mph but it wasn’t enough to overcome a .017-second reaction time by Coughlin and his 6.008-second pass at 248.61 mph.
"The bright side is, we could have left here down as the 18th qualifier," Troxel said. "By luck we got in, won a round, and had a really good number for a blower car in the second round. My hat is off to Troy, he cut a great light.
"It wasn’t our time, but we’d already had a lot of luck come our way during the weekend."
A new associate sponsor, PAETEC, joined Troxel’s Funny Car team this weekend and she said it was fun to show the guests from PAETEC, a nation-wide communications solutions company, all about NHRA drag racing.
"It was a great time for them to see the progress we’ve made," Troxel said. "We’re excited for them to be involved and really glad to show them what drag racing is all about."
Troxel will next race the ProCare Rx Toyota Funny Car at next weekend’s NHRA Summer Nationals in Topeka, Kan. The RoadRage.com Camaro will be at the next scheduled Get Screened America Pro Mod Series race, which will be the NHRA SuperNationals, June 3-5, in Englishtown, N.J.