Indy ORP: Mike Ashley Sunday notes

Ashley earns semifinals in Showdown and No. 6 eliminations berth at ORP CLERMONT, Ind. (September 2, 2007) - After earning the No. 6 position in the prestigious SKOAL Showdown based on the strength of his qualifying efforts for the past 23...

Ashley earns semifinals in Showdown and No. 6 eliminations berth at ORP

CLERMONT, Ind. (September 2, 2007) - After earning the No. 6 position in the prestigious SKOAL Showdown based on the strength of his qualifying efforts for the past 23 races, Mike Ashley drove his special edition Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation nitro Funny Car to an impressive semifinal finish, and earned the No. 6 qualifying spot in the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals at O'Reilly Raceway Park.

In the first round of eliminations for the Showdown, the Torco Race Fuels-sponsored Ashley dispatched Tony Pedregon in the heat of the day with an impressive 4.880/317.19 to Pedregon's 5.270/209.65. The semifinals paired Ashley with Ron Capps, and the two battled in a classic side-by-side race, with Capps the eventual winner 4.893/318.77 to Ashley's 4.943/316.75.

"I tell you what, I really would like to have won that $100,000 prize for the Showdown, but, it wasn't my primary focus for the weekend," Ashley explained. "It was a great drag race with Ron, and, if you're going to go down, I much prefer putting up a great number and making it close like we did today.

"I'm so proud of Brian Corradi and this team, for all they have done this past year. Just the fact that we made the Showdown in our first year together as a team means so much to me, and, I know there will be many more opportunities to win that prize," he said.

Ashley will enter eliminations as the No. 6 seeded driver on the strength of his Saturday night qualifying pass of 4.779/327.35, and will face Gary Densham in the first round of eliminations Sunday morning.

"Our goal, as a team, right now is to make the next cut in the playoffs, and to do that, we have to win rounds. Tomorrow, we will take each round as it comes, and work on advancing. We learn on every run, and the added competition of the Showdown gives us an advantage, really, because we're already in 'race mode.'

"I think the weather conditions will be similar to today, with a lot of sunshine and a really hot track. Everyone will have their hands full, but we've proven that we can get down the track in the heat of the day, and I'm very confident heading into tomorrow," he said.

Eliminations are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Monday morning, September 3. The special edition car Ashley is driving this weekend is part of a fund-raising campaign for the Eric Blake Faulkner Foundation whose mission is to support families who lose a child at or just before birth. After this weekend, the car will be auctioned off at the Barrett-Jackson Classic Car Auction held in January in Scottsdale, Ariz.

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , Mike Ashley