INDIANAPOLIS (Sept. 5) – It wasn’t the storybook ending Melanie Troxel was looking for at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, but it proved to be a solid Monday of racing.
Troxel advanced to the semifinals in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series and reached the quarterfinals behind the wheel of the In-N-Out Burger Toyota Funny Car.
“All in all, it was a good weekend,” Troxel said. “We qualified well and came real close to being No. 1 in two classes. That would have been history.
“It’s late in the season, but I think both teams are really starting to hit their strides, which is a good feeling.”
In her Funny Car, Troxel beat Bob Bode in the first round before an engine issue early in the second round against Bob Tasca III cut her race short.
“The Funny Car has been running much more consistently,” Troxel said. “We’re going to continue to make progress on that car. It’s an exciting time.”
Against Bode, Troxel got off the line first and left her opponent in a cloud of smoke. She spun the tires late in the run but crossed the line in 4.066 seconds at 215.167 mph. Bode limped across in 7.225 at 105.23 mph.
In the second round, she had nearly from the hit of the throttle and coasted to a 9.086 at 43.19 mph as Tasca zoomed across in 4.181 seconds at 105.23 mph.
Troxel didn’t get much time investigate what went wrong with the Funny Car, because it was straight into the In-N-Out Burger turbocharged ’53 Corvette for a second round Pro Mod matchup with Burton Auxier.
The turbo car loved the cooler air that pushed into Indianapolis and she ran a 5.910 second lap at 259.58 mph to Auxier’s 6.039 at 231.40 mph.
“It’s generally a really solid car,” Troxel said. “It goes right down the track.”
That set up a date with R2B2 Racing teammate Eric Dillard and his R2B2 Racing turbo Mustang.
“We didn’t make as many impressive runs as Eric early in eliminations,” Troxel said. “But the team’s tuner Steve Petty has been wracking his brain trying to find out what was wrong with my car.
“He found a sensor that was going away. He made the adjustments and sent us to the line with two identical cars.”
So identical, the two cars turned in matching 5.847 second laps in the semis. Dillard’s speed was 252.90 mph and he crossed the line first because he had the better reaction time. Troxel’s speed was a 252.47 mph.
“Today was Eric’s day,” Troxel said. “We knew when we added more turbos to our stable, we’d be racing each other. We would have loved to have met in the final round.”
Troxel will be back to the double duty Sept. 16-18 at zMax Dragway during the O’Reilly Auto Parts NHRA Nationals.
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