Dallas: Mike Ashley Friday notes

Ashley stands on 4.868 in Dallas ENNIS, Texas (September 21, 2007) - Mike Ashley spent the day at the intersection of life and drag racing, with his NHRA Funny Car POWERade championship hopes hanging in the balance. Because he has made ...

Ashley stands on 4.868 in Dallas

ENNIS, Texas (September 21, 2007) - Mike Ashley spent the day at the intersection of life and drag racing, with his NHRA Funny Car POWERade championship hopes hanging in the balance. Because he has made the decision not to qualify on Saturday in observance of Yom Kippur, he has to stand on his provisional No. 10 qualifying performance of 4.868/322.11 and hope that the nine drivers with slower elapsed times don't push him any lower than No. 16 in the remaining two qualifying rounds tomorrow.

Throughout the day, the New York native remained optimistic that his Gotham City Racing team would get the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T solidly into the field, and after his second run of the day, he was positive that he would be racing on Sunday.

"We ran really well tonight, and I think all the cars out there will be hard pressed to run better than my 4.86 in the heat of the day," Ashley said. "Brian [Corradi, crew chief] was definitely going for it tonight, and it showed in how well we ran. The Torco Dodge was on a great pass, straight down the groove to get us into the show. I'm really pleased.

"I think the guys took the ball and made a clutch shot, and it really shows the awesome abilities we've assembled together on this team," he said.

When asked about his decision not to race tomorrow, Ashley said it wasn't even a thought that he would race.

"I told the team at the beginning of the year that I wouldn't be racing on Saturday, because I looked at the calendar and saw that it fell on Yom Kippur. For me, it wasn't even a decision, really, because I practice what I believe, and for me not to race on the holiest day of the year wasn't even a question.

"Yom Kippur is about sacrifice, atonement and forgiveness, and, what bigger thing can I put on the altar of life than something like this championship race. In the big picture, this is who I am, and I know that my team and Evan [Knoll, owner of Torco and Ashley's title sponsor] and the rest of my sponsors are behind me.

"I know we've had an incredible season, and that we'll be just fine tomorrow. I'll find out the results after sundown tomorrow. Until then, I'm going to Temple in the morning, and then spending time alone, at the hotel just working through life. Really, if you think about it, taking a day out of the year to be introspective is a great thing to do, no matter what your faith. It's good for the soul," Ashley said.

Qualifying for the 18 other cars vying for a spot in the 16-car eliminations field continue Saturday, September 22 with sessions scheduled for noon and 3 p.m. Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, Sept. 23 (All times CDT).

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Ashley