Commerce: Mike Ashley final summary

Runner-Up finish for Ashley in Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - From the number one qualifying position, Mike Ashley drove his Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger to a runner-up finish in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern ...

Runner-Up finish for Ashley in Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 29, 2007) - From the number one qualifying position, Mike Ashley drove his Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger to a runner-up finish in the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway.

Behind the wheel of the Brian Corradi-tuned nitro Funny Car, Ashley dispatched Tim Wilkerson, Gary Scelzi, and Ashley Force before giving up the stripe to Robert Hight in the final. The event marks the second time Ashley has made it to the final round in Funny Car to face Hight, the last time in Dallas 2006, but has yet to seal the deal for the win.

Ashley squared off against the current POWERade points leader from the left lane which had been problematic for many drivers throughout the day, and suffered the same fate as others: hazing the tires at about half-track and giving up the win. Hight took the stripe with a 4.882/314.61 to Ashley's 5.167/229.66.

"We just had more power than the lane could handle," a disappointed Ashley said as he climbed out of his car.

"I really just feel bad for the guys, because they worked so hard and deserved the win. It looked like we had a good shot at it, but it wasn't meant to be this weekend. Let's face it - we've had the best hot rod on the track for the past several races, and we all know that we can get it done, but sometimes it doesn't work out the way we plan it.

"I've said it several times, I'm just going to go out there and do my job, and when it's right, it will happen. This weekend was by no means unsuccessful. We were number one qualifier again, set a track speed record again, and we made the finals. That's success, any way you look at it," he said.

For the third race in a row, Ashley has had the quickest and fastest car by the numbers - this weekend with his Friday night blast of 4.704/331.04. His speed eclipsed the record of 329.83 mph set by Tony Pedregon in May 2004.

"It really was a great weekend for us. Latrell Preston from Torco was here to watch the races with us, and we had some really amazing kids and their families from the Hyperbaric Therapy Center who got to enjoy the races, too - so, we were surrounded by tons of positive energy - and it showed in our performance.

"Some of these kids were autistic, and by using the hyperbaric chambers, they have had incredible, almost miraculous results. They were really an inspiration for me all weekend - and I'm really proud to be able to have an Autism Awareness ribbon on our car to share hope with all of the families who are afflicted with this disease. This is reality, and these kids are getting the win with all the things that Bill Schindler and Jere and Dawn Highland are doing with the Center. That's real life, and that's what really gets me going," Ashley said.

"Now, we get our stuff all together and head to St. Louis - and try to do it again - only next time, win one more round," he said.

Ashley and the Gotham City Racing team head next to Madison, Ill. for the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals next weekend, May 4-6.

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson , Ashley Force , Mike Ashley , Robert Hight