Drag racing superstar Melanie Troxel will return to the Funny Car ranks in 2010 behind the wheel of the In-N-Out Burger Dodge
Charger R/T Funny Car. Troxel will banner the landmark restaurant at the eight NHRA national events that take place in California, Nevada, Arizona and Texas.
The agreement resurrects a successful partnering between Troxel and In-N-Out Burger from the late 1990s that was highlighted by Troxel's second-place finish in the 1999 Top Alcohol Dragster national standings. In two seasons, Troxel won six races for In-N-Out Burger and claimed the '99 Division 6 title and '98 Division 5 runner-up honors.
"I am so excited that In-N-Out Burger is back in drag racing," said Lynsi Martinez of In-N-Out Burger. "My father (H. Guy Snyder) had a passion for drag racing and that passion lives in me. Drag racing has played a big role in In-N-Out's history and it is also an important part of my family history.
"It's great to be reunited with Melanie. She is the perfect representative for us and she's an exceptional driver. We are looking forward to a great season. It should be very exciting for both our In-N-Out family and our customers!"
Troxel's early triumphs with In-N-Out led to her ascension to the professional ranks midway through the 2000 season when she was selected by mega-team owner Don Schumacher to pilot the Exide Batteries Top Fuel dragster vacated by his son Tony Schumacher, who was moving over to the newly-formed U.S. Army group.
Wasting little time in impressing her peers, Troxel quickly raced to a runner-up result in Dallas and was steady enough in just 10 races to be named the Auto Club Road to the Future award winner. The accolade, now saluting the sport's top rookie, was given to Troxel as a racer "who had the best chance to make a mark in the sport of drag racing."
She's been living up to that billing ever since, racing Top Fuel, Funny Car, and Pro Mod with great success. In her brief career, Troxel has raced her various hot rods to seven national event victories in 16 final-round showings. She also has four Low Qualifier awards to her credit and is known throughout the motorsports world as the quickest and fastest female racer.
"It's very exciting to be back with In-N-Out Burger and to be racing a Funny Car again," said Troxel, who will be tuned by veterans Lance Larson and Robb Hauser. "We had big plans with In-N-Out a decade ago and now the circumstances have come together for us to continue our partnership and move forward.
"I feel a real bond with Lynsi and her staff at In-N-Out and I really want to do well for them, both on and off the racetrack. Our team owner, Roger Burgess, has given us all the equipment we need to be successful and I think we can jump right back in the mix at Pomona. We're all very excited to get started."
Troxel won the Pomona race in 2006 to kick-off a record string of five straight final-round showings to start a season. The victory made her just the eighth female since 1951 to win an NHRA national event and the sixth female ever to win in the Top Fuel class. Her incredible season ended with Troxel being named Sportswoman of the Year by the Billie Jean King Foundation and her nomination for two ESPY awards (best driver and best female athlete).
Switching to Funny Car in 2008, Troxel proved just as lethal, winning the Bristol event to become just the second female in history to claim a trophy in the class.
Last year, Troxel drove a Pro Mod car for Burgess and managed to post the third quickest quarter-mile pass in history, a 5.829-second blast. She will still compete in the Pro Mod class in 2010, driving the In-N-Out Burger '63 Corvette at all 10 events in the NHRA Get Screened America Pro Mod Drag Racing Series.
In 1948, the first In-N-Out Burger was founded by Harry and Esther Snyder in Baldwin Park, Calif. The basic menu of burgers, fries and drinks is still the same one customers have enjoyed since the company's inception 62 years ago. Everything is still made fresh to order and there are no microwaves or freezers in use.
Through careful and deliberate expansion, In-N-Out Burger now features restaurants throughout California, Nevada and Arizona. In-N-Out Burger remains privately owned and the Snyder family has no plans to take the company public or franchise any units.
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