Ashley looking to Add to list of firsts in Atlanta COMMERCE, Ga. -- Driving the world's fastest nitro Funny Car, New York native Mike Ashley will pilot the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger into competition this weekend at the Summit Racing...
Ashley looking to Add to list of firsts in Atlanta
COMMERCE, Ga. -- Driving the world's fastest nitro Funny Car, New York native Mike Ashley will pilot the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger into competition this weekend at the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Southern Nationals at Atlanta Dragway as he hopes to cap a slew of firsts with his first nitro Funny Car win.
Ashley went into eliminations at the most recent NHRA event for his first time as the number one qualifier after recording the fastest run in Funny Car history -- a blistering 334.32 mile per hour lap. That weekend was also the first time his team won the Full Throttle Pit Crew Challenge -- an award reserved for teams who perform the very best and most consistently in an event.
"We've definitely got a great hot rod, and our team is hitting on all eight cylinders, too," Ashley said. "It's awesome when you work so hard to put something together and it comes to fruition -- and that's exactly what has happened here.
"I became a team owner at the end of last year, and the whole crew has worked tirelessly to get us where we are right now. To be running at the very top in such a short time is testament to Brian Corradi [Ashley's crew chief] and the rest of the guys. I'm really confident that we will be adding our first Wally to the list of accomplishments very soon," he said.
Ashley and his Gotham City Race team have run the quickest and fastest at the past two events, outpacing every other Funny Car team. Their efforts have rewarded them with a solid No.7 position in the POWERade Countdown to the Championship, and the team is hoping to advance further toward the top in Atlanta.
"I think these next races are critical to making the Countdown, and to a man, everyone on our team is focused on running our very best to assure we make that all-important cut. We're coming into a long stretch of races now, and we are running in top form, so I think this will be a really good stretch for all of us," he said.
Ashley will try to focus on the Funny Car this weekend, but has agreed to help out journeyman Pro Mod racer Bryan Seward for one run on Friday, serving as a surrogate driver as Seward stays bedside with his 12-year-old son who will be undergoing a scheduled reparative surgery. Unwilling to leave his son but needing to gather data from a new motor and car setup, Seward called on the two-time World Champion to test-drive his car for one qualifying round. Any times Ashley posts will not count for Seward, but will assist in the setup of the car.
"When Bryan called me and explained the situation, I was glad to help. Bryan has dedicated his car and his racing to Parker's Partners and the education and support of children with Down's syndrome, so, I really feel like I am getting to help out a father as well as some pretty awesome kids, and I'm more than happy to oblige.
"Besides," Ashley said with a grin, "I get to drive a Pro Mod, and I definitely love Pro Mods."