EPPING, NH (June 13, 2021) — For two days during the TascaParts.com New England Nationals presented by Bandero Premium Tequila Justin Ashley and the Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Strutmasters.com consistently went down the track. On the first run of qualifying Ashley, the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year, powered to the No. 2 qualifying spot with a 3.774 second, 322.58 mph pass that earned his team two qualifying bonus points. On Saturday the team posted two more strong qualifying runs 3.924 seconds and 3.794 seconds to head into race day today as the No. 3 qualifier.
“We had two great days of qualifying and this Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Strutmasters.com has been putting up great numbers,” said Ashley at the end of the day on Saturday. “Leah Pruett will be a tough opponent tomorrow and this is the second race in a row we will square off in the first round. They have a strong team over there so we are not taking them lightly.”
Two weeks ago Ashley qualified No. 13 at the SpringNationals in Houston and faced the veteran Pruett, the No. 2 qualifier, in a tough first round. The second year driver was up to the task and outran Pruett for the win. Today the roles were reversed with Ashley coming as the higher qualified race car against Pruett. In the first round Ashley rolled his No. 3 qualified Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Strutmasters.com to the starting line beside the No. 10 qualifier.
Ashley got the jump off the starting line with a sizeable reaction time advantage, .045 to .090, but it was quickly apparent Ashley’s race car was not duplicating his qualifying efforts. His dragster began losing traction for the first time at New England Dragway. Unfortunately, Pruett made her quickest pass of the weekend going right down the middle of the groove with a winning elapsed time of 3.774 seconds.
“We are going to learn from this race, put it behind us and move forward to get ready for Norwalk,” said Ashley, the 2020 Summernationals winner. “Mike Green and the team did a great job all weekend. This was a new race track for me and the atmosphere was great. I met a lot of new fans and I am looking forward to coming back next year. I am also looking forward to getting to Norwalk because that is another very popular race for the fans.”
This weekend Ashley was also hosting VIP guests from Smart Sanitizer and continued to promote all his marketing partners including Auto Shocker, KATO Fastening Systems and newest sponsor BBQ Nation throughout the race.
The young team will head home from Epping and begin getting ready for the Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals in Norwalk, Ohio in two weeks. Ashley held onto his position in the Top Fuel top ten point standings after six races of the regular season.
Q1: 3.774 sec, 322.58 mph; Qual. 2
Q2: 3.924 sec, 259.81 mph; Qual. 3
Q3: 3.794 sec, 324.98 mph; Qual. 3
Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest of Q1)
Driver Qual R/T ET MPH
Justin Ashley 3 .045 4.063 274.78
Leah Pruett 10 .090 3.771 324.28 (W)
Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel
1. Steve Torrence, 606
2. Antron Brown, 444
3. Billy Torrence, 391
4. Shawn Langdon, 354
5. Brittany Force, 341
6. Doug Kalitta, 330
7. Justin Ashley, 283
8. Josh Hart, 278
9. Clay Millican, 270
10. Leah Pruett, 267
About Justin Ashley Racing
Justin Ashley Racing in partnership with Davis Motorsports fields the Strutmasters.com Top Fuel dragster in the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series. During his Top Fuel rookie season in 2020 Justin won the NHRA Summernationals, finished in the Top Ten and was recognized as the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year. Prior to his professional debut Ashley has three wins in Top Alcohol Dragster on the Lucas Oil Series. He is the son of multi-time NHRA national event winner Mike Ashley. In 2017, he was named to the Drag Illustrated magazine’s 30 under 30 list, highlighting some of racing’s most promising young individuals on and off the racetrack. When he’s not racing, Ashley serves as President of Ashley Developers, a real estate investment organization dedicated to the rehabilitation of distressed properties. To learn more about Justin Ashley Racing, visit JustinAshley.com.