Speed Record Earns Ashley No. 2 Spot heading into Eliminations at Topeka TOPEKA, Kan. (June 2) - After three consecutive races in the No. 1 qualifying position, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger, 'settled' for the No. 2...
Speed Record Earns Ashley No. 2 Spot heading into Eliminations at Topeka
TOPEKA, Kan. (June 2) - After three consecutive races in the No. 1 qualifying position, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger, 'settled' for the No. 2 spot heading into eliminations Sunday at the O'Reilly NHRA Summer Nationals at Hartland Park Topeka, earning the spot based on the strength of his track speed record-setting run Friday night, 4.794/327.11. Ashley's 327.11 mph speed outpaced all cars thus far at the event, Top Fuel Dragsters included.
"What can we say?" Ashley asked. "We've qualified No. 1 three races in a row, and now qualified No. 2, so I'd say the car is running pretty good."
In the final two qualifying runs, the car struggled to get down the track under full power - posting a 5.462/186.72 after hazing the tires around half-track for the first attempt of the day, and limping to a 7.567/121.04 after the tires lost traction just after leaving the starting line on the final attempt.
"The track was tricky today and we tried a couple of things to get ready for Sunday. We got on both sides of it - a little too slow, and a little too fast. We were a little too slow and shook the tires on the last run, and a little too fast, we smoked the tires on the first lap. I think we know where the sweet spot is now, right in the middle, and I feel good about tomorrow," he said.
In the first round of eliminations, Ashley will face his friend and former teammate, Del Worsham. Ashley has yet to win a round against Worsham.
"We've got Del tomorrow first round, and he's always a tough guy for me to race because he's so good. I think if he wants to win, he will have to come and beat me this time, though, because I'm certain we're going to win. I feel good about it."
Ashley's crew chief, Brian Corradi, was absent today, attending the high school graduation ceremonies of his oldest son, Nick. Corradi is scheduled to return to the helm tomorrow with plenty of time to prepare for eliminations.
"Of course we missed having Brian here, but Mark Oswald and the guys did a great job. I don't know that things would have been any different if Brian was here. I think they made the calls that I think Brian would have made, and we just came up a little bit short from where we wanted to be. Tomorrow is another day, and we're all hoping to go four rounds," Ashley said.