Melanie Troxel hopes to wrap up rookie Funny Car season with win at Pomona (1 Viewer)

[coverattach=1]With one race to go before the end of her first season as an NHRA Funny Car driver, Melanie Troxel isn’t positive if she’d rather race more or kick back and chill for a few months.

”I always wish we had more time to go out and fix the things that didn’t go quite the way you wanted during the season,” Troxel said, “but, at the same time, I think that by this time of the year everybody is worn out and ready for a break.”

The 24-race campaign that began at Auto Club Raceway at Pomona in early February concludes at the same facility, Thursday through Sunday, with the Auto Club of Southern California Finals

“Racing at Pomona is always fun,” Troxel continued. “There’s always something special about it both at the beginning of the year and at the end. It’s a fun race to go to and kind of exciting, even though you know it’s the end of the year and that means the season is over.”

The 22 races in between the Pomona stops have been chock full of surprises.

“It has been a crazy year from the beginning,” Troxel said. “We had changes in the minimum weight, changes in teams, chassis and nitro percentage, plus the fact I was a new driver in the Funny Car class just made for a really turbulent beginning to the season. It’s hard to quantify how that affects the team but it does make it tough to keep up any momentum or continuity in the way you are running.”

Another surprise, one which ultimately brought more stability, was Roger Burgess taking over compete ownership of the team.

Throughout all of this, Troxel did win her first Funny Car race, driving the Pro Care Rx Dodge to victory at Bristol , Tenn. , in May. However, the team struggled during the middle of the season and failed to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship playoffs.

But crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald got the performance back on track recently and Troxel registered her quickest one-thousand foot time, 4.047 seconds, and her 309.98-mph speed is one of the fastest in the category. She also moved into 11th place in points, the highest position possible for non-Countdown qualifiers.

“We’re definitely happy with the way the car is running and we’re going to carry that momentum through the off-season so we should be ready to go early next year,” Troxel said. “Even though the car has been running really well, we would have liked to have seen some different results lately.

“We ran really well here in February. So much has changed for me as a driver because I’m getting that first season out of the way. I’m looking forward to coming back to a place where I ran well early in the season. I have a lot more experience as a driver now and that makes me more comfortable heading into this event versus the first event of the season.

“We wanted to have another race win before the season ended – and it isn’t out of the question yet – but this is it, we are down to one last race.”
 

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