Indy ORP: Mike Ashley preview

Ashley believes in "Power over Force" CLEREMONT, Ind. (August 29, 2007) - Twenty-nine weeks ago, the score was even and every NHRA Funny Car driver had designs on making the new Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Mike Ashley, driver of the...

Ashley believes in "Power over Force"

CLEREMONT, Ind. (August 29, 2007) - Twenty-nine weeks ago, the score was even and every NHRA Funny Car driver had designs on making the new Countdown to the Championship playoffs. Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, started the season with a quick jump into the top eight, and never left playoff contention. By the numbers, there's no doubt that the team has the power to get their car down the quarter-mile in record speed, but the New York-based mortgage banker has learned several valuable lessons along the way and is ready to make a go for the next cutoff in the Countdown beginning this Labor Day weekend at O'Reilly Raceway Park in Indianapolis.

En route to his sixth-place finish in the regular season, Ashley re-discovered the difference between power and force, and the benefits of power versus the detriments of force.

"If you are attempting to push or "force" something to happen in your life there is definitely something pushing or forcing back, and I think the highlights of our season came when we we're operating from a "power mental standpoint" while our DNQ's came when we we're forcing things," Ashley explained.

"We were pushing so hard to keep our number three spot that we lost sight of some mental simple mechanics, and it bit us. As a team, we've decided that our power to win comes from the team we've built, and that our successful results come when we allow our focus and skill to shine."

And results are something Ashley definitely delivered in the regular season. With the backing of Evan Knoll and Torco Race Fuels, Ashley lists two event wins, three final round appearances, six semifinal appearances, six track speed records including the fastest run in Funny Car history, five number one qualifiers, and four DNQ's.

"For us, DNQ really means 'Do Not Quit.' Ours were a symbol of the way we approach things - going for it with everything we've got. A mark of courage, so to speak - kind of like Babe Ruth, when he set the home run record, he also set the strike out record.

"This weekend is a new beginning for us, and we've got a goal - to make the Countdown to One. There are eight teams, four races, 38 days and 512 points available, and after that, four teams will advance. It all begins at Indy, and our team is ready," he said.

Along with the playoffs, Ashley and Team Gotham are focused on the Skoal Showdown this weekend and the chance to score a $100,000 payday. Ashley faces Tony Pedregon in the first round of the eight-car tournament.

"It really works to our advantage, because we run every lap with the goal of being the fastest and quickest, and we'll just apply the same 'power' mentality to the Showdown, and let our success dictate itself.

"This will be an incredible weekend for me and our entire team, and I'm really excited to get it all going," he said.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Mike Ashley