Ashley Disappointed but Optimistic after DNQ at Gatornationals GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - On this St. Patrick's Day, 2007, the luck of the Irish was not with The Kid from Long Island. Mike Ashley, New York resident and driver of the ...
Ashley Disappointed but Optimistic after DNQ at Gatornationals
GAINESVILLE, Fla. (March 17, 2007) - On this St. Patrick's Day, 2007, the luck of the Irish was not with The Kid from Long Island. Mike Ashley, New York resident and driver of the Torco Race Fuels, Inc. Dodge Charger, found himself just three-thousandths of a second outside of the top 16 cars at the ACDelco NHRA Gatornationals in Gainesville, Fla.
Delivering a 4.85 second pass in his final qualifying attempt and jumping momentarily to the 14th spot, Ashley stood at the end of the racetrack and watched as he was progressively bumped further and further down the ladder by the cars that followed him. When the qualifying ended, Ashley sat number 17, just behind Del Worsham.
Although disappointed by not qualifying, Ashley's optimism remains strong and unscathed.
"Of course I'm disappointed, probably most because I want to run the very best for my sponsor, Evan Knoll," Ashley said. "Especially this weekend as we unveiled the new "Fuel Doctor" paint scheme honoring him, I wanted to do well, but it just didn't happen.
"Evan knows, though, that this is an incredibly tough sport, and that we give it our all every time we go to the line," he said.
"We got behind early in the weekend, and we just couldn't get back on course to get a baseline for our runs. We struggled with the track and our setup, and, we came out just a fraction short of making the field,” he said.
Ashley said he knows, however, that just being able to race against the very best nitro Funny Cars in the land is a privilege, and he takes his role as a driver and team owner very seriously, if not humbly.
"It's really an honor to be able to race for all of these amazing fans and for a sponsor like Torco. Now we'll re-group and get ready for Houston. It's a long season, and even though we want to win them all, I'm realistic. This was just one race out of 23, and I'm still very confident that I'll be able to give Evan a Wally very soon," Ashley said.
Ashley and the entire Gotham City Racing team head next to Houston, Texas for the O'Reilly NHRA Spring Nationals presented by Pennzoil, March 30-April 1.