LAS VEGAS (Oct. 30) – The hope for Melanie Troxel was to leave The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway with a matching pair of pewter Wally trophies from the Big O Tires NHRA Nationals.
But as is the case with many who spend a weekend in Las Vegas, Troxel and the In-N-Out Burger teams are leaving Nevada frustrated and empty-handed.
“Losing stinks no matter when it happens to you during the weekend,” Troxel said.
In the Get Screened America Pro Mod Series, Troxel and the In-N-Out Burger turbo Corvette lost to teammate Leah Pruett in the semifinals on a holeshot. Earlier in the day, the In-N-Out Burger Toyota Funny Car fell in the first round to Johnny Gray.
“In Pro Mod, we’ve got two very good consistent cars,” Troxel said. “We know we’ve got great chances of getting a least one car to the final every time we race. It’s been a tough weekend on parts over here, so the team has had to pull together to get our R2B2 Racing cars in such a good position.”
In the semis, Pruett got a .012 second advantage off the starting line and would need every fraction of a second because Troxel ran the best ET of the day, a 5.892 second lap at 253.85 mph. Pruett crossed the stripe first after a 5.897 second lap at 251.20 mph — .005 seconds ahead of Troxel.
“You can’t say enough about our tuner, Steve Petty,” Troxel said. “To have them go up there and have them run within .005 of each other is spectacular. He’s great at what he does and gives the team a lot of confidence.”
Troxel got to the semis by defeating Donnie Martin in Round 2. Troxel ripped off a 5.892 second pass at 253.66 mph as Martin crossed the line in 5.956 at 243.19 mph.
The Las Vegas event marks the end of the Get Screened America season Troxel ended the season points in third, collecting one win along the way.
At the beginning of the day, Troxel rolled the In-N-Out Burger Toyota Funny Car out against Gray, one of the hottest drivers in the class over the last few weeks.
In that race, Troxel got off the line first but lost traction at about the 330-foot mark, while Gray made a flawless pull. Gray crossed the line in 4.158 seconds at 311.63 mph. Troxel crossed in 5.032 seconds at 197.42 mph.
“We have the ability to run a really good number every once in a while,” Troxel said. “We just don’t have the ability to run it consistently. It continues to be our Achilles’ heel, and we’re going to keep working on it.”
Troxel and the In-N-Out Burger Funny Car crew will get one more chance to break into the winner’s circle at the Nov. 10-13 Auto Club NHRA Finals in Pomona, Calif.
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