Busy Mike Ashley to Give Away $250,000 Friday, Drive Funny Car and Pro Mod at Midwest Nationals Friday won't be a typical day for Mike Ashley or Amanda and Wesley Michno of St. Clair, Mo. Ashley, Chief Business Strategist/Executive Vice ...
Busy Mike Ashley to Give Away $250,000 Friday, Drive Funny Car and Pro Mod at Midwest Nationals
Friday won't be a typical day for Mike Ashley or Amanda and Wesley Michno of St. Clair, Mo.
Ashley, Chief Business Strategist/Executive Vice President of Lend America, a nationally direct mortgage lender, will present the Michnos with the $250,000 top prize in Lend America's "Homefree Mortgage Giveaway" in the their home at 8 a.m. The event will be featured exclusively on television's "Inside Edition" on Monday.
Ashley, an NHRA Funny Car and Pro Modified driver, then heads for Madison, Ill., site of this weekend's O'Reilly Midwest Nationals at Gateway International Raceway. He will be competing in his second Funny Car race of the season.
"What gratifies me the most," said Ashley, "is that, in addition to helping Amanda and Wesley, we've taught them how to manage their debt for the future and now they can pay off their 80/20 balloon mortgage and stay in their home. "
Ashley and Roger Burgess (co-owner of ProCare Rx) are the co-owners of Gotham City Racing, a two-car Funny Car team that features Melanie Troxel and Ashley -- at least for the next five NHRA POWERade Series events.
Troxel won the Midwest Nationals Top Fuel title a year ago in Top Fuel and is making the transition from Top Fuel to Funny Car this year at the same time the ProCare Rx Dodge Charger R/T team is adapting to an extra 100 pounds mandated by new NHRA safety rules.
When announcing his decision to get back into Funny Car, Ashley said he was doing so because he wanted to take advantage of their two-car team.
"It's important the way our team has progressed that we have two cars out here gathering data," he said. "We must come up with a master plan to master the combination. It's no secret there have been significant changes to the chassis this year.
"We've only run the second car two events this year. I'm looking at driving it at least until the race at Norwalk (Ohio, four races after the Midwest Nationals)."
Ashley was the No. 1 qualifier here a year ago during a stellar 2007 Funny Car campaign. It was one of his five low qualifier awards. He won three times (including the storied U.S. Nationals at Indianapolis), qualified No. 1 five times and finished sixth overall.
Ashley created the "Homefree Mortgage Giveaway" and designed it to educate borrowers about reducing high-cost debt. The Michnos will receive $10,000 a month for the next 25 months.
He wanted to establish Lend America as a staunch supporter of the economy on both a local and national level. With that in mind, he created the " HomeFree Mortgage Giveaway" to provide people in need a viable option to the mortgage problems that are crippling the economy and, at the same time, restore faith in the mortgage industry.
Mr. Michno said he had been "desperately trying to refinance to a fixed-rate loan, but no lender would qualify us. With three young children, ages six months, 2 and 4 years old, our financial obligations were a constant worry."
And then good fortune came their way.