LAS VEGAS (Oct. 24) — For the final time this season, drag racer Melanie Troxel will compete in two professional categories when the 11th annual Big O Tires NHRA Nationals takes place this weekend at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway.
On nine other occasions, Troxel has raced both her In-N-Out Burger Toyota Solara Funny Car and her In-N-Out Burger Chevrolet Pro Mod machine. Although the extra work makes those race weekends a tad more hectic, the popular Troxel says having twice as many chances to win makes it all worthwhile.
“It does get a little crazy at times but the crew guys have developed a system that allows me to jump from one car to the other without any hiccups,” Troxel said. “There are times when one of the guys will warm up a car for me because I’m busy in the other one but everyone has been very helpful and supportive.
“As a driver, it affords us two chances to win, so that’s really exciting. It paid off earlier this season in Bristol when we got the win in Pro Mod and there have been a couple other races when we’ve gotten close with both cars. It would really be something if we could pull off a double (win). Vegas is our next chance to give that a try so we are ready to get started.”
Currently third in the Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series, Troxel will have to hold off five drivers in the final Pro Mod race of the season to maintain her current ranking. She certainly has the power to do so as she holds both ends of the Pro Mod national record with a pass of 5.772 seconds at 258.71 mph run in New Jersey.
On the Funny Car side, Troxel and team elected to drive straight from the last tour stop in Phoenix to Las Vegas for some extra testing.
“We had three or four races recently when the In-N-Out Toyota really showed a lot of consistency,” Troxel said. “Then we struggled in Phoenix when it got hot so Aaron (Brooks, crew chief) and John (Medlen, vice president of research and development) decided they needed to change some things up so we came early to test.
“Things went really well and we think we’ll be back in line with the tune-up this weekend. The mood in this pit went sky high when the car got consistent and quick in Indy and we’re emphasizing getting back to that at The Strip.”
Qualifying begins Friday with two rounds of action in both Pro Mod and Funny Car. Pro Mod sessions are scheduled for 11:45 a.m. and 5 p.m., while Funny Car will run at 1 and 4 p.m.
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