Indiana State University Newsroom

Indiana State racer named NHRA ET bracket driver of the year

December 20, 2011

Indiana State University student Derick Troxell capped off an impressive drag racing season with another award to add to his accolades.

Troxell received the National Hot Rod Association's Division 3 Elapsed Time Bracket Driver of the Year award. The NHRA presented the award during the Land of the Winners Awards banquet on Dec. 10 in Indianapolis. Troxell, one of the two drivers for ISU's Team Sycamore Racing, won the Super Pro drag racing points series at the Crossroads Dragway in Terre Haute. Once the season concluded, voting was conducted for various NHRA awards, including the driver of the year honor. After voting was closed, the three top vote getters were announced, before Troxell was announced as the winner at the banquet.

"There are a lot of big names that could've won it, but to get down to just being in the top three meant a lot to me," Troxell said, "and then hearing my name called, that we won, it was even better."

The voting was completely open-ended, so voters could visit the NHRA site and type in the name of the driver they wanted to win. Troxell ultimately received the most votes for the award.

He attended the banquet with other members of Team Sycamore Racing, including fellow driver and ISU student Megan Jackson, team member Ryan McCoy and Randy Peters, team principal of Team Sycamore Racing and owner of Crossroads Dragway. He could tell that Troxell was hoping to gain this most recent achievement.

"He was very, very excited that he had won. He basically jumped from his seat," Peters said of the banquet announcement. "You would've thought he had won a great drag race."

The drag races occurred on most Saturdays from the spring until late October. They are run in a bracket format, with drivers competing head-to-head until there is only one winner for the day. Racers receive a point for each round they win.

In the elapsed time racing in Super Pro, drivers declare the time their cars are supposed to run, which is used to program the starting lights. Drivers then race head-to-head, with the first car to cross the finish line winning. But if the car goes faster than the time the driver declared, the car is disqualified.

Troxell only raced in his second full season in ET bracket racing last year, which was his first with Team Sycamore Racing. He didn't expect to win as many races as he won, especially given that the team encountered car troubles early in the season.

"We got that straightened out, and after that, we just started winning races," he said.

Troxell wasn't the only driver to experience success for Team Sycamore Racing this season. Jackson, a senior from West Terre Haute majoring in technology education with a minor in motorsports, finished in third place for the season at Crossroads Dragway. She was in her first full year as a driver for Team Sycamore Racing.

By the final weekend of the year, Troxell, a junior business finance major from Seymour, had amassed such a vast points lead that he didn't even race. Instead, he helped another member of Team Sycamore Racing fulfill the licensure requirements needed to race a dragster.

Though Troxell won the award by popular vote, many people knew that he was a credible racer, and that he was worthy of the recognition, Peters said.

"It's the first time someone's won the award for Team Sycamore Racing," he added. "It's also the first time that I know that someone from Indiana State University has won the award."

Troxell also was able to speak with one of his idols, dragster racer Morgan Lucas, who attended the event. Troxell first met Lucas when he won an award for drag racing several years ago; at the most recent awards banquet, Troxell thanked the elder racer for inspiring him.

The young driver hopes the success continues into next season. While he plans on driving with Team Sycamore Racing, he also plans to race in some divisional races, which are larger races than the weekly events at Crossroads Dragway. The most recent award he's won could be a sign of things to come.

"It's pretty far up there" he said of the NHRA driver of the year honors. "It's one of the coolest things I've ever won."

Photo: (Submitted Photo)
Team Sycamore Racing driver Derick Troxell in one of the team's dragster at Crossroads Dragway in Terre Haute. Troxell won first place in the dragway's ET bracket racing season, and in mid-December he won the National Hot Rod Association's Division 3 Elapsed Time Bracket Driver of the Year award.

Contact: Randy Peters, associate professor, department of applied engineering and technology management, College of Technology, Indiana State University, 812-237-4962 or

Writer: Austin Arceo, assistant director of media relations, Office of Communications and Marketing, Indiana State University, 812-237-3790 or

Story Highlights

Student Derick Troxell received the National Hot Rod Association's Division 3 Elapsed Time Bracket Driver of the Year award. The NHRA presented the award during a December awards banquet in Indianapolis.

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