Ashley sells his interest in Funny Car team to focus on family and business MELVILLE, New York (June 28, 2008) - On Thursday, June 26, reigning US Nationals champion Mike Ashley sold his interest in the Gotham City Racing nitro Funny Car team to...
Ashley sells his interest in Funny Car team to focus on family and business
MELVILLE, New York (June 28, 2008) - On Thursday, June 26, reigning US Nationals champion Mike Ashley sold his interest in the Gotham City Racing nitro Funny Car team to his partner, ProCare Rx Chairman and CEO Roger Burgess. Citing the exponential growth of Lend America and the desire to spend more time with his family, Ashley said he made the tough decision to do what he thought was best for the team.
"Right now, Lend America is growing explosively. We moved into a new location, added hundreds of new employees, and this past month we were approved to issue Ginnie Mae government mortgage-backed securities -- bundles of mortgages sold to investors and backed by the federal government," Ashley said.
In order to become a qualified Ginnie Mae issuer, Lend America went through a rigorous screening process to determine its suitability and must meet strict reporting requirements to maintain the coveted status. Ashley said this development would help continue Lend America's growth and provide opportunity in the country's current mortgage crisis.
"I've got to think about my responsibilities to my family and to the hundreds of employees of lend America, and stay focused on that. I'd already made the decision not to race any more this season, and, after Englishtown, Roger and I discussed his desire to be more involved in the daily operation of the team. I though it was the best solution for both Roger and me, as well as the entire team," Ashley said.
"On Thursday, the agreement was completed, and now I have no responsibility for the Funny Car team at all. I feel that in 2009 things will be much more structured for me, and I'll return to Pro Mod racing then.
"It's difficult for me," Ashley continued, "because we accomplished so much together as a team, I really think of it as a 'Dream Team.'"
In the course of Ashley's short Funny Car career, he ran the fastest ever in a quarter-mile at 334.32 m.p.h., qualified number one five times, including three times in a row, won three events including the prestigious MAC Tools US Nationals, set numerous track speed records, and finished sixth overall in 2007. In addition, Ashley set the standard for sponsorship relationships with programs such as the first-ever live daily Internet broadcast drag racing show, special at-track fan pit-side viewing zones, and several fan-centric national event trip contests.
"These guys are like family to me, and I love all of them like brothers. Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald have been making the decisions for quite a while anyway, so really, they will all be in great hands as they move forward. Melanie Troxel is an incredibly talented driver, and I know she has championship potential, so, I'm confident for them they will be successful in the future as they compete," Ashley said.
"In my mind, the only thing that changes between me and the team is who is in charge, and from here on out that's Roger. He's proven he is an incredible leader, and I can't thank him enough for the opportunities he's given me, and the chance for the team to continue with the dream. I appreciate him and his friendship, and I know that we will always have a great relationship as we move on to the next phase of racing."