Troxel Challenge Raises $6,400 For Charity
"That was great," Troxel said. "The step off was the hardest part, you free-fall just a little bit, then you realize it's going to be OK. It was a beautiful view, and a lot of fun."
Troxel dared all of her fellow nitro drivers to jump along with her and decided to make it more enticing by promising to donate $100 to the Speedway Children's Charities in the honor of every driver who jumped.
Pro Stock driver Allen Johnson offered the same bounty for drivers in his class and NHRA announcer Bob Frey picked up the $100 tab for every Pro Stock Motorcycle rider who made the leap.
Prior to the SkyJump was the NHRA fan fest in downtown Las Vegas at the Fremont Street Experience. Frey made sure to announce the planned jump and invite fans to watch the jump at The Stratosphere.
Frey also took the opportunity to taunt all the drivers who weren't already signed up to jump, and encourage the fans to donate money to the Speedway Children's Charities while they were getting their favorite drivers' autographs.
Immediately following the fan fest everyone headed over to the Stratosphere and Troxel was the first one off the platform.
"The other drivers I jumped with started taunting me from the other side of the glass, trying to mess with me when I was on the platform," Troxel said.
Fans watched from the landing deck as all of the drivers dropped one at a time off the top of The Stratosphere. Morgan Lucas, Clay Millican and Cory McClenathan represented the Top Fuel class, Jack Beckman made sure Troxel wasn't the only Funny Car driver to jump, but Johnson was the lone Pro Stocker to take the plunge. Pro Stock Motorcycle riders had the strongest showing with Matt and Angie Smith, David Hope, Katie Sullivan, Redell Harris and Mike Berry all making the jump.
"The guys who showed up were great," Troxel said. "The rest of them who chickened out -- you know who you are."
Several drivers who didn't jump made a $100 "chicken out" donation to buy their way out of the 855-foot plunge.
After all the fun and teasing that went on between the drivers and fans during the jump the donations were all added up and a total of $6,400 was raised for the Children's Speedway Charities.
"It was a great night for everyone," Troxel said. "The Stratosphere was a fantastic host for us. The fans at the autograph session that chipped in for Speedway Children's Charities deserve a big thank you too.
"The event really took off thanks to and Bob Frey and the TBC Retail Group which got on board at the autograph session and boosted our final total."
TBC Retail Group, which represents NTB, Tire Kingdom, Big O Tires, Service Central and Merchant's Tire & Auto Centers, donated $2500 of the $6400 raised.
The money raised will be presented to the Children's Speedway Charities on Sunday morning during driver introductions during prerace ceremonies for the NHRA Las Vegas Nationals at The Strip as Las Vegas Motor Speedway.