Joliet: Mike Ashley Saturday summary

Ashley misses Joliet eliminations by .007 JOLIET, Ill. (June 9, 2007) - That's drag racing. A week ago, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, was celebrating his very first NHRA Funny Car win. This weekend, at the Torco...

Ashley misses Joliet eliminations by .007

JOLIET, Ill. (June 9, 2007) - That's drag racing. A week ago, Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, was celebrating his very first NHRA Funny Car win. This weekend, at the Torco Racing Fuels Route 66 NHRA Nationals in Joliet, Ill., Ashley qualified No. 17 -- .007 seconds from making the field.

Ashley's 4.867 second performance in the first round Friday was edged out by No. 16 qualifier Bob Gilbertson's 4.861. Ashley would have had to run 4.860 or quicker to make the field.

On the outside looking in, Ashley, No. 3 in points coming into the event, is in stellar company - joined in the DNQ pack by No. 2 in Funny Car points, Robert Hight, and Top Fuel points leader and Topeka winner Brandon Bernstein. In Topeka, Funny Car points leader Ron Capps and No. 3 Tony Pedregon DNQd, marking a noteworthy trend of the points leaders not making the show.

"It just goes to show you how important the Friday night run is," a disappointed Ashley said. "We were the quickest and fastest in the first round, and in the third round - both in the heat of the day, but we had that clutch arm fail on Friday night, and didn't make the show.

"Sure, we're all disappointed, but it's not anyone's fault. It was a $5 part that kept us from the field. We're still the champions we were last week, we still have a bad hot rod, and we're still marching toward our goal of making the top eight come Indy.

"I'll say this - you can knock this Team Gotham down, but you can't knock us out, and we'll be right back in the thick of things in Englishtown in a couple of weeks.

"To be a winner out here, or in life, you have to persevere. My son Justin told me that after we won last week, that we persevered through a whole year, and we finally won. Now, when it's tough, we'll do the same. Our attitude is up, our heads are high, and, we'll come back swingin' for the fence, just like we have been," Ashley said.

-credit: www.mikeashley.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Bob Gilbertson , Tony Pedregon , Ron Capps , Brandon Bernstein , Mike Ashley , Robert Hight