St. Louis: Mike Ashley final summary

Upward Trend Continues for Ashley with Semifinal Finish in St. Louis MADISON, Ill. (May 6, 2007) - New York mortgage banker Mike Ashley has learned that a key to success in business and in racing is maintaining focus on the big picture, and for...

Upward Trend Continues for Ashley with Semifinal Finish in St. Louis

MADISON, Ill. (May 6, 2007) - New York mortgage banker Mike Ashley has learned that a key to success in business and in racing is maintaining focus on the big picture, and for the driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, the picture keeps getting brighter and brighter. Ashley drove to an impressive semifinal finish this weekend in the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill. and continued his move toward the top of the Funny Car pack.

On the heels of his third-straight No.1 qualifying effort, Ashley dispatched Tim Wilkerson and former world champion Gary Scelzi before going down in the semi's to former-teammate Del Worsham. Having negotiated the extremely tricky track conditions all day at Gateway International Raceway, Ashley smoked the tires just after the launch in his match against Worsham, giving up the finish line 7.584/110.44 to Worsham's 4.925/314.53.

"You know your team is really doing well when you're disappointed with a semifinal finish - right?" Ashley said with a smile.

"We really worked so hard this weekend, and all of the guys, Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald, Steve Boggs, Dan, Robb - all the team, and it really shows in just how far we've come in such a short time," he said.

Ashley leaves the weekend No. 4 in POWERade points and just one round out of third place, and in fifth place in SKOAL Showdown points as well. His Fuel Doctor Funny Car has run the quickest and fastest at the past four events, set three track records including recording the fastest pass in Funny Car history, and has been the No. 1 qualifier at the past three events.

"It's definitely something to be proud of. We took the same core principles we used to build a two-time World Championship-winning Pro Mod operation and applied them to Funny Car, and you can see the results.

"It's three things really: creativity, strategy and a lot of hard work that have gotten us so far so fast. The trend is definitely up, and I know that the win will come soon enough, but until then, we'll just keep working on what we know how to do," Ashley said.

Next up for Ashley and his Gotham City Race Team is the O'Reilly NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals at Bristol Dragway in Bristol, Tenn. May 18-20.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Del Worsham , Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Ashley