PLAINVIEW, NY (June 23, 2021) — Justin Ashley and the Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Strutmasters.com will race for the first time as a professional at the NHRA Summit Racing Equipment NHRA Nationals but it will be a homecoming of sorts for the 2020 NHRA Rookie of the Year. In 2017 Ashley made passes in now fellow competitor Antron Brown’s Top Fueler to earn his professional license. The second-year driver also made a handful of test runs at the famed track located just over an hour west of Cleveland, but this weekend will be his first shot at winning the NHRA national event and the coveted silver ice cream scoop presented to each category winner.
“In 2017, with the help and guidance of a few amazing people, I got my license at Summit Motorsports Park in Antron’s Top Fuel Dragster. I also did some Top Fuel testing at the facility when the Davis Motorsports team and I first joined together. That is pretty much it,” said Ashley.” Although I have never raced there in Top Fuel, I am very much looking forward to it because I know the Bader family does an amazing job. I have been there on multiple occasions as a fan and I am always more than impressed.”
The winner of the 2020 NHRA Summernationals does have memories from Summit Motorsports Park as a fan and supporter of his father, Mike Ashley, who took home the Funny Car title in 2007. The experience at the facility left a lasting impression on the second-generation driver.
“I remember being at the track when my dad won there in 2007,” recalled Ashley. “At the time I was a young kid and I was really impressed with the facility and the show they put on. The job they do providing a good racing environment and a good fan experience is second to none.”
Leading up to this weekend’s race Ashley and his Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel that also receives considerable support from Auto Shocker and KATO Fastening Systems in addition to Strutmasters.com are thinking of how they would like to add their name to the list of winner’s along with his father.
“I think about it more so leading up to the event versus when I am at the track,” said Ashley, when asked about the prospect of winning the event. “It would be super cool to win the same event my dad won years before me. To share in that kind of moment would show how things can come full circle. It provides a little extra motivation and would certainly be an exciting story.”
This weekend’s race will also be the precursor to a busy summer of races for the young Top Fuel team. Last year the truncated season gave Ashley and his team valuable experience but was not the traditional gauntlet of races most teams experience. This year the NHRA Camping World Drag Racing Series will be hitting its stride in June and July with a full slate of events all across the country.
“This is going to be my first real full season as a professional driver,” said Ashley. “When I look ahead to Norwalk and all the events after it, I see a lot of races coming up in a short period of time. I am excited to start getting into a serious groove. It will be my first opportunity to race a lot of races in a short period of time. That is only going to help from a driver’s perspective. It will be a new challenge for me as well, especially running the business at home and traveling. But I am developing an appropriate plan and no matter how you shape it, this is a dream come true for me.”
In addition to his racing duties Ashley will also be keeping an eye on sponsor Smart Sanitizer who will have a booth at the race. The unique kiosk will be in the manufacturer’s midway providing fans and participants a quick and easy location to sanitize their hands, take their temperatures, and disinfect their phones, keys, and wallets throughout the day.
“I am excited to have Smart Sanitizer show off their kiosk at an NHRA national event. The NHRA fan base is exceptionally passionate and brand loyal. Once fans see how easy it is to sanitize and use the machine effectively, they will be asking to see more of these kiosks across the country. The Smart Sanitizer stations are a perfect kiosk for airports, grocery stores, hotels, malls and anywhere people are enjoying themselves,” added Ashley.
NHRA Norwalk Nationals qualifying will begin this Friday at 8 p.m. ET. Qualifying will continue with two sessions on Saturday with final eliminations starting at 11 a.m. ET on Sunday. Fans can tune into live coverage on FOX beginning at 2:00 p.m. ET on race day.
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.