Commerce: Mike Ashley Saturday summary

No. 1 Ashley Confident Heading into Eliminations in Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. (April 28) - For the second race in a row, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, will enter eliminations from the No. 1 position and set a new...

No. 1 Ashley Confident Heading into Eliminations in Atlanta

COMMERCE, Ga. (April 28) - For the second race in a row, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, will enter eliminations from the No. 1 position and set a new track speed record en route to his pole position. Ashley secured his spot at the top based on the strength of his Friday-night blast of 4.704/331.04.

"We had a really solid run last night which obviously let us work with the car to see what changes we would have to make for hot and humid conditions on race day," Ashley said.

"On our first run today, we were really aggressive, trying to see what the track would hold. We got a good start, but then the tires shook so much the parachute came out and I drove down the track with an air-brake," he laughed.

"On the last round against Robert [Hight], Brian [Corradi, Ashley's crew chief] had the car tuned to race, and it was really a good lap. I'm really confident going into tomorrow, because I know we have a great hot rod that's ready to run."

Ashley's final qualifying attempt netted a 4.811/323.43 - the fastest and fourth-quickest run of the day. His Friday night 331.04 mph pass put him in the record books at Atlanta Dragway eclipsing the Funny Car speed record of 329.83 mph set by Tony Pedregon in May 2004.

"Now, we have to put all of our hard work on the line and go rounds tomorrow. We've all worked so hard to get to this point, I'm really proud of all of my guys," Ashley said.

Eliminations in the fifth of 23 NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series events are scheduled to begin Sunday morning at 11 a.m. ESPN2 will televise final eliminations beginning at 7 p.m. (EDT) Sunday evening.

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Mike Ashley