Fellow drag racer Jeg Coughlin Jr. was just .07 seconds back of Troxel’s two-run combined time of 1:39.33 seconds, bringing home silver in his JEGS.com bobsled with a 1:39.40. NASCAR road race specialist and multi-time Challenge winner Boris Said ended up third, filling out the podium with a 1:39.69.
In the second contest of the day, the NASCAR vs. NHRA showdown, Troxel once again shined, blazing through the NHRA side of the ladder before taking runner-up honors behind NASCAR rookie of the year Joey Logano, 49.81 to 50.07.
“I’m shocked,” said Troxel, the first woman to ever compete in the event. “That final (gold medal) run didn’t even feel that fast. It seemed like I hit the walls a lot, but I guess it was quick enough to win. 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. I think driving my R2B2 Voodoo Corvette was probably some pretty good training because those Pro Mod cars are right on the edge also.
“The whole atmosphere of this event and the fact we’re helping our Olympic athletes go for the gold with these ‘Made in America’ bobsleds from the Bo-Dyn Project makes it so special. It’s been a real honor to be here.”
Top Fuel teammates Shawn Langdon and Morgan Lucas finished fifth and sixth, respectively, in the first race with combined times of 1:40.12 and 1:40.32. Langdon, the driver of the Lucas Oil/MAV TV Top Fuel dragster, was competing in his first Lucas Oil Bobsled Challenge.
Lucas, who usually drives the GEICO Powersports/Lucas Oil dragster, is the most tenured member of Team NHRA, having competed in the race four times overall. The defending event champion, Lucas reached the semifinals in the NASCAR vs. NHRA Challenge but lost to Troxel by .02 seconds, 50.12 to 50.14.
Pro Stock racer Coughlin had the fastest pass of the event, reaching 102.62 kilometers per hour on the 20-turn Olympic course on Mount Van Hoevenberg. His two runs of 49.31 and 50.09 seconds in the first event looked smooth, although the five-time world champion said he could have been quicker.
“I skidded through a few of the lower turns in both runs and that scrubbed off a bit of speed,” he said. “But I’m really pleased with this result. Two years ago I came in third here and got the bronze. Now I’ve got a silver medal to go with it so we’ve improved and that’s exciting. I guess I need to come back and get a gold to finish the set.
“What Geoff Bodine has done for bobsledding is phenomenal and this event is not only a lot of fun but it’s something that just makes you feel great. I’m excited to go up to the Olympic Games in Vancouver next month with Team USA and watch them on the world’s biggest stage. We all wish them the very best.”
NASCAR legend Bodine conceived the Bo-Dyn Bobsled Project more than a decade ago after watching U.S. athletes struggle to compete with old, used sleds from their European rivals. Bodine contracted racecar 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. Since switching to Bo-Dyn sleds, U.S. athletes have risen to the top of the sport, winning multiple Olympic and World Cup medals in both two-man and four-man competition.
Official results of timed Olympic-style race:
1:39.33 Melanie Troxel
1:39.40 Jeg Coughlin Jr.
1:39.69 Boris Said
1:39.82 Todd Bodine
1:40.12 Shawn Langdon
1:40.32 Morgan Lucas
1:40.40 Joey Logano
1:40.53 Phillip Morris
1:40.97 George Brunnhoelzl III
1:41.19 Carl Renezeder
Official results of NASCAR vs. NHRA Challenge:
Round 1: Logano 50.00 defeats Said 50.03; Lucas DNF beats Renezeder DNF (better incrementals)
Round 2: Logano 49.70 defeats Bodine 50.12; Troxel 50.12 defeats Lucas 50.14
Final round: Logano 49.81 defeats Troxel 50.07
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