Ashley's "banking" on history repeating itself

MELVILLE, NY. - Based on the results of his 2000 season, Pro Modified racer Mike Ashley has completely revamped his Gotham City Race Team. As you may recall earlier this year the New York Mortgage Banker and Pro Modified driver was...

MELVILLE, NY. - Based on the results of his 2000 season, Pro Modified racer Mike Ashley has completely revamped his Gotham City Race Team. As you may recall earlier this year the New York Mortgage Banker and Pro Modified driver was contemplating a switch from Nitrous to supercharger. However, it looks like Ashley's loyalty to the laughing gas has overcome him and he will be sticking with a nitrous injected power plant. However, make no bones about it, Ashley is serious about the 2001 IHRA Pro Modified season and has made many changes to his team.


Mike Ashley Photo: Gotham City Racing

At the crew chief position Ashley has recruited his old friend, Pro Stock and Pro Mod veteran Gary Henry. Gary was part of Ashley's original record setting team in the early 90's when Mike finished runner up in the IHRA Pro Modified points chase. " Gary has the experience, discipline and clutch management history that this team needs. Most importantly, Gary shares the same passion that the car owner does and Ashley trusts him.

Ashley's primary engine program has also changed. Veteran racer and now engine builder Rickie Smith, of RSR Race Engines has been slated to consult the team and build Ashley a 706' cubic inch nitrous motor. "There is no doubt that Rickie Smith is one of the greatest racers of all time. He has countless runs and years of on track experience that we can draw from in our efforts to compete successfully."

In addition to Henry and longtime crewman Vinnie Marino, Ashley has added new yet familiar members to his crew. Mike Brown and Steven Ramage. Brown was on Ashley's original team for three years along with Henry. Ramage is the owner of RS Competition Engines and will provide one of Ashley's power plants to be tested and then run in competition. "Adding Mike to our team was a natural. We have a history together and Mike offers a balanced opinion that will help in making key decisions as a team."

Ashley added, "I've known Steve since High School. He lives around the corner from me. We used to race each other many moons ago after school. During the off season I've taken the time to get to know Steve and RS competition and I believe they produce a quality product that can compete.

While Ashley and Lizzard Racing have parted ways Mike was quick to say that it was amicable. " Matt Grillo is a great guy. I'll be buying our necessary equipment and parts from Matt. We just chose to go on different engine paths."

So how does Ashley see his chances?

"Look all I can tell you is I like my chances this year. We've changed our engine program, lightened our car and assembled a talented team. I'm realistic though. This is a tough class with a lot of great competitors. I'm shooting to finish in the top 6 or 7 this year. If we can attain that goal I'll be happy and use 2001 as a stepping-stone toward the world championship."

-Bobby Bennett

www.gothamcityracing.com.

kk

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About this article
Series Drag
Drivers Mike Brown , Rickie Smith , Mike Ashley