Mike Ashley to return at St. Louis

Mike Ashley Returns to Funny Car Racing at St. Louis COMMERCE, Ga., April 25, 2008 -- Mike Ashley is going Funny Car racing again. After a disappointing first round loss in his Pro Mod car, Ashley held a press conference to announce some ...

Mike Ashley Returns to Funny Car Racing at St. Louis

COMMERCE, Ga., April 25, 2008 -- Mike Ashley is going Funny Car racing again.

After a disappointing first round loss in his Pro Mod car, Ashley held a press conference to announce some exciting news to share with his fans.

Ashley, co-owner with Roger Burgess of Gotham City Racing's two-car Funny Car team, Saturday announced his return to NHRA Funny Car competition for the next five races, beginning Friday in the Midwest Nationals at St. Louis.

Ashley won three races -- including the prestigious U.S. Nationals -- and finished sixth in POWERade Series points in 2007. Melanie Troxel will continue driving the team's ProCare Rx Dodge Charger R/T that is tuned by Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald. Frank Hawley drove the second car here and at Gainesville, Fla.

"We've only been running our second car at select events," said Ashley. "It 's important the way our team has progressed that we have two cars out here gathering data. We must come up with a master plan to master the combination. It's no secret there have been significant changes to the chassis this year. "

And it gives Ashley an opportunity to get back into a Funny Car. He has been driving his Pro Modified car in 2008. "It's no big secret that I miss driving," he said. "I'm having fun driving the Pro Modified car, but I do miss my time with the Funny Car."

Ashley added the team is still seeking major funding for the second car and once the funds are secured, Frank Hawley will return to competition.

"We weren't planning on racing the second car at the next five races, so that's why I am returning to drive," Ashley explained. Aaron Brooks will tune Ashley's car.

"We've mapped out a strategic plan and I'm confident after five races we'll have a good handle on this program," Ashley said. "I think we're already closer than it looks."

Should the plan come to fruition, would that leave the door open for Ashley to remain in the Funny Car driver's seat?

"That depends on how we stand in points," he said. "It also depends on what my wife and family say, too."

-credit: gcr

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About this article
Series NHRA
Drivers Melanie Troxel , Mike Ashley , Frank Hawley , Roger Burgess