Automobile Club of Southern California NHRA Finals
Final Top Fuel race for Troxel
Pomona, prerace: The 43rd annual Auto Club NHRA Finals at the Auto Club Raceway at Pomona will be the site of Melanie Troxel's last Top Fuel race in a career that has spanned since 2000 and encompassed 82 starts with four victories out of 15 final rounds, but leaving Pomona, she would like that record to read five wins in 16 final rounds before departing onward to the NHRA Funny Car division next season.
"That would be the ultimate way to go out on top in my last race in Top Fuel," said Troxel. "As a team, that is something we would really enjoy to be able to finish our season and our time together. As many of you know, I'm moving over to Evan Knoll's Funny Car team and our present team will be going on with a different driver. I'm excited for them because I know how incredible this car is running. This is a serious championship contending team. I'm honored to be a part of the team and really enjoyed working with this group of guys.
When she was recently asked if there was a particular highlight during her tenure behind the wheel of a rail, she stated all of it' while she reminisced over her seven-year career.
"I was 15 or 16 years old when I really decided in trying to make a living at this, but that dream seemed so far away," said the driver of the Forrest Lucas-owned dragster. "You work so hard to have those opportunities and then at some point you have to step back and go 'wow'. I try to remind myself of that every once in a while to stop and take a look back at the dream that I set for myself so many years ago. It's been an unbelievable honor to race in Top Fuel as a profession and to work with some of the people and the teams that I have. Hopefully, I'll be moving on to have a great career in Funny Car, but there will always be a soft spot in my heart for Top Fuel."
Last year she played a pivotal role in the POWERade championship taking her then teammate, Tony Schumacher's main rival, Doug Kalitta out of contention by defeating him on a hole-shot in the semi-finals setting up a scenario unlike has ever been seen or unlikely to be witnessed again.
"That was an incredible race all together -- so many things had to fall just perfectly in the right place for Schumacher to win that race," she said. We were a part of that equation and that's what teammates are supposed to do and we helped him get that championship. We're in position again this year to be a 'spoiler'. As much as I don't like being the spoiler and don't want to have an influence on how the championship turns out; we sure would like to go out there and show them how to get it done for the last race of the year."
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