Ashley grabs Provisional No. 1 and records the fastest Funny Car Run in History
LAS VEGAS (April 13, 2007) - Recording the fastest run in Funny Car history, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger, sits on top of the pack at No. 1 at the SummitRacing.com NHRA Nationals at The Strip in Las Vegas. Ashley's 4.725/334.32 blast down the quarter-mile was more than .015 faster than No. 2 and more than 8 mph faster than the second-fastest car.
"What can I say? This is a team sport, and it takes a team commitment to a clear vision through ups and downs to be successful at this deal," Ashley said. "Today is one of the dramatic ups, and in my mind Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald and the entire team deserves the credit.
"To be the best at what you do, to run the fastest speed in the history of the class and qualify number one all at the same time is a testament to the depth and strength of this team," he said.
Ashley has twice before been the provisional No. 1, at Richmond and Dallas of 2006, and is seeking to hold onto the first pole position of his Funny Car career this weekend. Ashley said there is nothing more he'd love to do than hand his sponsor a Wally to add to the two Pro Modified World Championship trophies he's already delivered. Ashley won back-to-back World Championships in Pro Mod in 2004 and 2005.
"This is something that's been in the works for us. We were the quickest and fastest car in Houston on race day, and now that's carried over to here. I think we have a quality team and that's exciting because I haven't been able to win yet for Evan Knoll. I really want to do it for him because he's been with me from the start.
"Evan Knoll and Latrell Preston from Torco are two people who I consider family, and I love and respect their commitment to our team. I'm happy that tonight we were able to put them on top," Ashley said.
A mortgage banker from New York, Ashley said he has struggled to focus on racing because of the demands of running his business, Lend America.
"This weekend I decided to shut off the phone, not log on to the computer and only focus on racing. I made the decision that I'd take whatever comes my way and just be happy to be here and enjoy the moment. Being No. 1 and setting speed record, I'll take it," he said.
Qualifying continues at 12:30 and 3:30 p.m. Saturday, April 14. Eliminations in the fifth of 23 events in the NHRA POWERade Drag Racing Series are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, April 15.