Reading: Mike Ashley Friday notes

Ashley No. 14 heading into Saturday Qualifying MOHNTON, Penn. (August 17, 2007) - Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, sits in the provisional No. 14 spot after two qualifying sessions in the Toyo Tires NRHA Nationals...

Ashley No. 14 heading into Saturday Qualifying

MOHNTON, Penn. (August 17, 2007) - Mike Ashley, driver of the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T, sits in the provisional No. 14 spot after two qualifying sessions in the Toyo Tires NRHA Nationals at Maple Grove Raceway just outside of Reading, Penn.

The day started in typical fashion for the first-year Funny Car team owner: running top speed of the round and landing in the No. 4 spot with a 4.929/315.64. Round two started with a powerful launch for the Torco Dodge, but Ashley's hopes for re-setting his personal best ET of 4.694 seconds went up in tire smoke shortly after 100 feet. At the stripe, a sub-par 9.640/85.44 forced the positive-thinker to look to Saturday to make the top half of the qualifying field.

"We just overpowered the track," Ashley said. "I'm not really worried about it, though. The weather report is for cooler and less humid conditions - which are perfect for quick times and fast speeds - so we'll kick it tomorrow and get in the top half of the field.

"Brian [Corradi, crew chief] has a great tune up for this car, and with great conditions, we'll be right back on track," he said.

In 2006, Ashley set the track speed record of 330.96 at Maple Grove, and missed setting the ET record by one thousandth of a second. This season, Ashley has set six track speed records including recording running the fastest pass in the history of Funny Car: 334.32 mph.

"Records are nice, but we really want to perform well on Sunday and hold on to our No. 3 spot in the Countdown heading into Indy. We're all focused on doing our best, and I'm confident we'll have a great day tomorrow," Ashley said.

Qualifying continues Saturday with rounds scheduled at noon and 3 p.m. Eliminations in the 17th of 23 races in the POWERade Championship Drag Racing Series are scheduled to begin at 11 a.m. Sunday, August 19. (All times EDT.)

-credit: gcr

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Series NHRA
Drivers Mike Ashley