QUEEN OF THE HILL

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QUEEN OF THE HILL Powered By Docstoc
					                                              by Phil Burgess

                                     photos by Todd Bissonette
                                     (rtbphoto.com) and Phil Burgess



                                 N
                                          HRA’s Melanie Troxel proved to be the queen of the hill, outdriving her more experienced
                                          male counterparts to nab a gold and a silver medal at the 5th annual Lucas Oil Geoff
                                          Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering Jan. 8-10 on the historic
                              Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic bobsledding course in Lake Placid, N.Y.
                                The nitro racing pilot, the first woman to be invited to participate in the annual sledfest, showed the boys
                           the fast way home in the Olympic-style two-run timed competition, then finished as runner-up to NASCAR
                         rookie of the year Joey Logano in the final round of the NHRA vs. NASCAR competition.
                          “I’m shocked,” said Troxel. “There was definitely some beginner’s luck on my side today. I sure came a
                       long way in a few days. At first, I was getting so much advice, and it didn’t even make sense to me, but as
                       the weekend went along, I started understanding what they were telling me and what areas of the track they
                                                                                                 were talking about.”
                                                                                                    The event is staged annually to create
                                                                                                 awareness and funding for the Bo-Dyn
                                                                                                 Bobsled Project Inc., created by
                                                                                                 NASCAR legend Bodine, who joined
                                                                                                 forces with auto racing designer Bob
                                                                                                 Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Oxford,
                                                                                                 Conn., to create made-in-America
                                                                                                 bobsleds for the United States men’s and
                                                                                                 women’s national teams. Previously,

                                                                                               NHRA nitro and Pro Mod racer Melanie
                                                                                               Troxel dominated the 5th annual Lucas Oil
                                                                                               Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge, scoring a
                                                                                               gold medal in the timed event and a
                                                                                               runner-up in the NHRA vs. NASCAR
                                                                                               competition in her National Guard-backed
                                                                                               sled. National Guardsman Matthew
                                                                                               Powers served as her brakeman.
48 National DRAGSTER
(Above) Ten racers, representing NHRA and NASCAR, competed at the event in Lake Placid, N.Y., to raise funds for the Bo-
Dyn Bobsled Project Inc., created by NASCAR legend Geoff Bodine to fund made-in-America bobsleds for the United States
men’s and women’s national teams. (Right) Lucas Oil served as the event’s major backer and had three of its sponsored
drivers — Top Fuel aces Morgan Lucas and Shawn Langdon and off-road racer Carl Renezeder — in competition.

NHRA Olympic sledders had been                and receiving Bobsled 101 instruction         hockey jerseys were
forced to run older, hand-me-down             from Team USA driver Ethan                    lowered from the rafters
sleds from European teams, but since          Albrecht-Carrié, the 10 drivers in            for them, event
2002, the Bo-Dyn effort has produced          competition took practice runs,               sponsors Forrest and
four Olympic medals: a woman’s                beginning initially at a lower starting       Charlotte Lucas, and
gold, men’s and women’s silvers, and          point before moving to their                  Bodine, and the jerseys
a men’s bronze. The men’s and                 competition start for Sunday’s three-         became the official race
women’s squads have claimed five              quarter-mile, 15-turn course.                 uniform for the
World Cup gold medals in the run-up               Bobsleds are steered using two            weekend. The event
to the 2010 Olympic Winter Games in           handles, attached by ropes to the             also was highlighted by
Vancouver, B.C., where the men’s              sled’s steerable front runners, and           the public unveiling of
team hopes to end a 62-year gold-             several drivers had trouble adjusting         the 2010 Team USA
medal drought.                                to a control method other than a              bobsled paint scheme.       2009 NASCAR Whelen Southern Modified champ George
    Troxel was joined at the event by         steering wheel. Only 2009 NASCAR                  The group               Brunnhoelzl III was the first of six drivers to flip a sled,
fellow NHRA racers and sledding               Whelen Southern Modified champion             concluded a busy day        which occurred during Friday practice. None of the
veterans Morgan Lucas and Jeg                 George Brunnhoelzl III had major              with dinner at the          drivers was hurt beyond their feelings.
Coughlin and Lucas’ Top Fuel                  difficulty, flipping his ServiceMaster        famed Boat Ho
				
DOCUMENT INFO
Description: NHRA's Melanie Troxel proved to be the queen of the hill, outdriving her more experienced male counterparts to nab a gold and a silver medal at the 5th annual Lucas Oil Geoff Bodine Bobsled Challenge presented by Whelen Engineering Jan. 8-10 on the historic Mount Van Hoevenberg Olympic bobsledding course in Lake Placid, N.Y. The nitro racing pilot, the first woman to be invited to participate in the annual sledfest, showed the boys the fast way home in the Olympic-style two-run timed competition, then finished as runner-up to NASCAR rookie of the year Joey Logano in the final round of the NHRA vs. The event is staged annually to create awareness and funding for the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project Inc., created by NASCAR legend Bodine, who joined forces with auto racing designer Bob Cuneo of Chassis Dynamics in Oxford, Conn., to create made-in-America bobsleds for the United States men's and women's national teams.
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