Troxel ready to defend Team Gotham’s title in Norwalk (1 Viewer)

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Troxel ready to defend Team Gotham’s title in Norwalk

NORWALK, Ohio (June 25, 2008) - Melanie Troxel has a full plate at this weekend's Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals. As the lead-driver for the Gotham City Racing team, she is tasked with defending team co-owner Mike Ashley's 2007 victory, and at the same time, she is working to break into the top-ten to make the Countdown to One playoffs.

In addition, this will be a difficult weekend in drag racing, the first event since the tragic death of veteran champion Scott Kalitta last weekend, and Troxel will join her colleagues as they all work to focus on their jobs wile trying to make personal peace with the tragic loss.

"It's like a family out here, so when something like this happens, it affects everybody and we all feel it. We all know, however, that we are out here to do a job, something that we all have chosen to do," Troxel said.

A public memorial service to celebrate Scott Kalitta's life will be held Thursday, June 26 at 7 p.m. at Ernsthausen Performing Arts Center in Norwalk.

After the memorial, racing and life will go on, and Troxel knows the task at hand and is confident in her Brian Corradi-tuned Charger.

"Our job right now is to get this car in the top ten, and we've been running really well the past five-or-so races, and I'm confident we'll continue working toward our goal," she said.

Mike Ashley, last year's event winner and current track speed record-holder said he is also confident in the team, as well as Troxel's success in the Funny Car.

"Melanie has really done a great job learning and getting used to the Funny Car. She is such a professional, and a great asset to our team. I'm really comfortable with her defending my win from last year. She's already proven she can qualify number one and win in a Funny Car, and She's got a great car and team behind her, pushing her into the winner's circle," Ashley said.

Troxel said, "We've got a really consistent car and everything is very positive. Mike had great success last year, and so the team is feeling good about coming back.

"We made up ground last week in points, and we'd love to come away from this weekend with a win and another big move in the rankings," she said.

Qualifying is scheduled for 4:30 and 7:30 p.m. Friday and 1:00 and 3:00 p.m. Saturday, and eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday.
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