LAS VEGAS (April 2) – Bad luck has been Melanie Troxel’s constant companion for most of the start of the 2011 NHRA season, but she caught her first break of the season on Saturday at the 12th annual SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
Troxel put her Roadrage.com Camaro into the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series field for the first time this season, and advanced to the second round after opponent Von Smith failed to get the car to back up after the burnout.
“It’s nice to feel that everything isn’t completely stacked against you after you get that little break,” Troxel said. “We went out and ran a good number and I think we would have beat Von.”
In her solo run, Troxel’s supercharged Camaro ran a 6.034 second pass at 242.80 mph. That run was a few tics off her qualifying time, which was sixth best, a 6.019 at 243.81 mph.
“It feels good to get several good runs in,” Troxel said. “We’ve gone down the track every single run. We are running decent numbers for a supercharged car.
“We’re going to have to step on it to run with the turbo cars, but we expected to come to this altitude track and struggle more than the other cars.”
Troxel squares off against Gainesville winner Khalid Balooshi in the second round. Balooshi beat Dennis Radford in the first round with a pass of 5.988 at 239.95 mph.
“I’m hoping this weekend is a sign for a change in direction for this team,” Troxel said. “It’s giving me a lot of confidence as a driver.”
The early season struggles continued for the In-N-Out Burger Toyota Funny Car as it failed to qualify for a third consecutive race.
Troxel’s second qualifying run, which would have been good enough to make the final field, was tossed out because the car’s body was too low. The time that counted – 4.404 at 229.63 mph – was only 18th best in the field.
“That’s the tough part about this sport,” Troxel said. “Not everybody gets to go out and run great every weekend. We’re struggling right now but we know we’ve got In-N-Out Burger and Red Line Oil behind us, so we’ll turn it around soon.”
Eliminations in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series continues Sunday from The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. The Pro Mods are scheduled to resume following the Nitro and Pro Stock sessions, which begin at 11 a.m. PDT.
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