New car carries Ashley to the top in Martin MARTIN, Mich. (August 3, 2007) - After six consecutive weekends of NHRA competition, Torco Race Fuels nitro Funny Car driver Mike Ashley chose to spend his precious "off" weekend doing one of the...
New car carries Ashley to the top in Martin
MARTIN, Mich. (August 3, 2007) - After six consecutive weekends of NHRA competition, Torco Race Fuels nitro Funny Car driver Mike Ashley chose to spend his precious "off" weekend doing one of the things he loves best - drag racing. And, true to his string of stellar, record-setting performances this season, he set the track ET record en route to a provisional No. 1 qualifying performance at the Torco Race Fuels Northern Nationals at Knoll Gas Motorsports Park in Martin, Michigan Friday night.
Under the stars with an air temperature of 67 degrees, a track temperature of 85 and an adjusted altitude 1,552 feet, Ashley blasted his brand-new Murf McKinney-built Dodge Charger R/T down the quarter-mile in the opening salvo of the "Night of Fire" with a class-best 4.812/316.23. His run bumped his previous track ET record by more than five-hundredths of a second.
"That was fun," Ashley said. "To come out to [Torco Racing Fuels owner and event sponsor] Evan Knoll's race and set a record and take No. 1 the first time out with a brand new car - we're all feeling really good right now.
"Everything on this car is brand new - every nut and bolt, and we couldn't be more pleased," he said.
Ashley said the maiden voyage was not without incident, however.
"Everything was perfect, which is really a testament to Brian Corradi and the rest of the team, except when they went to plug my helmet into the fresh-air hose. The hose was too short, so I had to hold my head cocked to the right while I made the run.
"Talk about an interesting perspective - looking at everything sideways going 316 mph. At the end, I had to click it off early - so it probably would have run a '79. Still, the track and the conditions are great, so, tomorrow we're going to go for it and see what this new car will do," Ashley said.
Ashley explained that the new car is to serve as a top-end backup for what he calls his "sweetheart car," - the one he has used in competition thus far this season.
"We're breaking this car in, testing it and making sure everything works the way we want it, and then we'll put it up in the trailer and have a first-class backup in the event we need it later in the season.
"Everything is so relaxed up here, we're all having a great time," he said.
Qualifying continues at noon and 7 p.m. Saturday, August 4. Elimination rounds are scheduled at 10:30 a.m., noon, 2, and 4 p.m. on Sunday, August 5. (All times EDT).