For those who have served our nation, a grateful sport says "Thank You"
In the 1960s, America's muscle-car craze just about guaranteed that the growing National Hot Rod Association had the attention of young men 18-30 years old. Then the Vietnam War hit and the weekend warriors became simply warriors.
That turn of events plunged the nation into protest, angst, and divisiveness. It left scars on many of those one-time drag-racing enthusiasts. A lost interest in quarter-mile competition became the least of their worries.
But NHRA team owner Evan Knoll has been able to heal some of those hurts that have lingered for nearly 40 years. One of his drivers, Melanie Troxel, is rallying America's once-maligned or forgotten soldiers this season with the Vietnam Veterans/POW MIA Dragster.
And at Madison, Illinois, last weekend, she recorded her third career Top Fuel victory but her first for the veterans in Knoll's tribute dragster. She also improved from ninth in the standings to fifth, in ideal position to qualify for the Countdown to the Championship.