Troxel challenges fellow nitro pros to jump off 108-story Stratosphere
Funny Car driver Melanie Troxel is challenging the rest of the drivers in the NHRA's nitro categories to make a 108-story free fall from the top of the Stratosphere Tower to raise money for Speedway Children's Charities. The "Troxel Challenge" is set for 9 p.m., Thursday, Oct. 28, at SkyJump Las Vegas at the Stratosphere Casino and Hotel with Troxel donating $100 per jumper.
"Let's see who is going to step up and make the jump," Troxel said. "It's for a good cause, and if we can see fear strike deep in the heart of my fellow racers then all the better.
"I tried to get a group together to do the 'Big Shot' a few years back and everyone chickened out on me. I couldn't believe these guys drive Funny Cars and Top Fuel dragsters at 300 mph but they were scared of an amusement ride. They were all like, 'but I'm in control of my car. I can't control the ride.' So this time I'm calling them out publically and I'm putting up my own money so they better respond."
So far, Morgan Lucas and "Fast" Jack Beckman are the only racers to agree to the jump but Troxel is hoping many more will follow. She's also encouraging race fans to apply some heat and come by and support the event in person.
"It's going to be amusing to see who has the nerve to do it and who is going to run and hide," said Troxel, a self-admitted adrenaline junkie. "I think the only way I'll let anyone off the hook is if they make a donation of their own Speedway Children's Charities."
SkyJump is a controlled free fall, similar to a vertical zip line. The launching pad is located 855 feet above the Las Vegas Strip. Jumpers are harnessed in and attached to a cable that is connected to a descender machine. Guide wires keep the skyjumper on course and on target. Just before reaching the rapidly approaching ground, the skyjumper is slowed down for a controlled and safe landing. SkyJump Las Vegas is the only sky jump in North America and the highest in the world.
The "Troxel Challenge" will follow the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals Fanfest, which runs from 6-8 p.m. on Fremont Street in downtown Las Vegas.