Ashley takes top spot in Sonoma SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2007) - For the fourth time this season, Mike Ashley will drive the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T in eliminations from the No. 1 spot. His Friday-night record-setting blast ...
Ashley takes top spot in Sonoma
SONOMA, Calif. (July 28, 2007) - For the fourth time this season, Mike Ashley will drive the Torco Race Fuels Dodge Charger R/T in eliminations from the No. 1 spot. His Friday-night record-setting blast of 4.743/326.79 earned the top spot for the New York mortgage banker. The track speed record is the sixth record he has set this year, including running the fastest lap in Funny Car history at 334.32 m.p.h.
"It feels great to be number one qualifier because that gets us more points in the Countdown to the Championship, and every point counts while we're trying to make the countdown to eight," Ashley said.
"The feeling wears off in about 32 seconds, though, because you realize that you've got a race tomorrow morning, and you've got to get ready for that to keep things going," he said.
Ashley currently sits No. 3 in the POWERade Championship race with 798 points, 26 points ahead of Tony Pedregon. The top eight drivers will advance to the Countdown to Four playoffs after the Toyo Tires NHRA Nationals in Reading, Penn. August 16-19 - just three races away including this weekend.
Because he was already well qualified for tomorrow's eliminations in the FRAM Autolite NHRA Nationals, Ashley said his crew chiefs Brian Corradi and Mark Oswald used the day to test new blowers and "find out what not to do on race day."
"We really felt that the 4.74 would hold up, so we took advantage of the runs today to test because we haven't had the time in the past six weeks to test at all, and we've wanted to continue working on our blower development program," Ashley said.
Both qualifying runs today resulted in tire smoke, but Ashley was pleased with the runs regardless.
"Every chance we get, we work on improving our program, and, while most people think we wanted to go out and keep running big numbers, we really knew what we wanted to learn today, and we were successful.
"We've got a great hot-weather tune up, and we'll put that in the car tomorrow and be ready for Tony Bartone first round," Ashley said.
Ashley, who will celebrate his 42nd birthday on Monday, said he couldn't think of a better birthday gift than to leave Sonoma with a win.
"Being number one means we have the best car out of all of these cars this weekend, and I'd love nothing more than to take the Torco Dodge all the way into the winner's circle tomorrow afternoon," he said.