Phoenix: Mike Ashley Saturday summary

Strong Qualifying Performance Allows a Day of Testing for Mike Ashley PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 24, 2007) - Torco Race Fuels nitro Funny Car driver, Mike Ashley, will start eliminations in the No. 5 position Sunday at the Checker Schuck's Kragen...

Strong Qualifying Performance Allows a Day of Testing for Mike Ashley

PHOENIX, Ariz. (February 24, 2007) - Torco Race Fuels nitro Funny Car driver, Mike Ashley, will start eliminations in the No. 5 position Sunday at the Checker Schuck's Kragen NHRA Nationals at Firebird Raceway in Chandler, Ariz. Ashley's Friday night best of 4.727 was strong enough to allow the Gotham City team to use the day to test without fear of being bumped from the field.

In Saturday's first round of qualifying, almost to a car no team was able to improve on their previous positions - and Ashley's tire-smoking 7.111/116.12 was in league with the pack. In the final round, Ashley had a great start to the run until his Goodyears lost traction, giving him a 9.594/86.23.

"It was a day of testing for us, and we learned a lot," said Ashley. "Tomorrow's track conditions will be very similar, if not even more extreme, and we were able to try several different things on the car to see what will work for us. It's really nice to be in the position to work like that.

"When the track gets hot, like it did today, it gets slippery, and it won't hold a lot of power, so Brian [Corradi, crew chief] will have to finesse the clutch tomorrow to get the most speed we can without breaking the tires loose. We experimented with a couple of things, and feel we have a really good handle for race day," he said.

"This is where the science of racing becomes an art - and Brian, Mark [Oswald] and the guys are all masters of what they do. I'm very confident that tomorrow will be a great day for all of us," Ashley said.

-credit: www.mikeashley.com

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Ashley