St. Louis: Mike Ashley Saturday summary

Record Setting Performances for Ashley again! MADISON, Ill. (May 5, 2007) - It's been more than two years since a driver has accomplished what Mike Ashley was able to achieve today. For the third straight race, Ashley enters eliminations from...

Record Setting Performances for Ashley again!

MADISON, Ill. (May 5, 2007) - It's been more than two years since a driver has accomplished what Mike Ashley was able to achieve today. For the third straight race, Ashley enters eliminations from the No. 1 qualifying position, something no Funny Car driver since John Force in 2004 has accomplished.

In the final round of qualifying at the O'Reilly NHRA Midwest Nationals in Madison, Ill., Ashley powered past the pack in the heat of the day with a blistering 4.799/331.77 run. His speed once again set a track record, eclipsing the mark of 330.23 mph set by Gary Scelzi in June 2004. Ashley's speed also surpassed every Top Fuel Dragster, making his Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger literally the fastest car on the grounds.

"Steve Boggs, Brian Corradi, Mark Oswald and the rest of the guys have given me a real hot rod, that's for sure," an ecstatic Ashley said. "Running number one again just solidifies the fact that we have an awesome team and we can get things put together and run at the top.

"I learned from my Pro Mod days that you win championships by being consistent, and this car is definitely that. Every lap counts, every round counts, every point counts, and we're all working together to reach the goal of reaching the Countdown to Eight in Indy, and then working forward from there," he said.

"Also, qualifying number one is special because today is my sponsor, Evan Knoll's, birthday, and this is a special gift I can give to him," Ashley said.

Ashley will once again match up against Tim Wilkerson in the first round of eliminations tomorrow morning. According to Ashley, however, he focuses on racing his own race, not his opponent.

"Every time I go to the line, I focus on my own routine, my own race. It's not really about who's in the other lane, it's about being consistent with what I do, so the car can do what they guys have set it up to do. So far, it's worked," he said.

-credit: mar

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Series NHRA
Drivers John Force , Gary Scelzi , Tim Wilkerson , Mike Ashley