BRISTOL, TN (October 17, 2021) — Second year driver Justin Ashley and the Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot raced to another semifinal in the incredibly competitive NHRA Countdown to the championship today at the NHRA Thunder Valley Nationals. Through five races the 2020 Rookie of the Year has two final rounds including a win last week at the Texas NHRA Fall Nationals and two additional semifinals. He has moved from seventh to third place in the Camping World Drag Racing Series with two races remaining in the 2021 season.

Today as the No. 5 qualifier Ashley defeated 2013 Top Fuel world champion Shawn Langdon and Countdown competitor Billy Torrence in the first two rounds before dropping a close race to the three-time and reigning Top Fuel champion Steve Torrence. Last weekend it was Ashley getting the win light in the final round over Torrence for this second career victory. Today both cars made clean runs again and Torrence was just a shade quicker to the finish line winning.

Ashley opened his race day posting a track record and personal best speed in his first round win over Langdon. When the Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster crossed the finish line the scoreboard lit up from an impressive and historic 334.48 mph pass. When Ashley was alerted to the speed record the young driver could barely contain his enthusiasm.

“Wow, how about that,” said Ashley. “We just eclipsed 330 mph yesterday for the first time and this was a big swing. My hat is off to this team led by Dustin Davis and Mike Green and this entire Smart Sanitizer Vita C Shot team. We are moving on and we just have to stay focused on ourselves and do the best we can.”

The second round race was a rematch from the Texas Fall Nationals second round. Once again Ashley got the jump off the starting line and that was the difference in the race as his 3.708 second run got the win over Torrence’s quicker 3.705 second pass. Ashley had the speed to match the elapsed time hitting the stripe at 333.33 mph.

In the semifinals racing the veteran Steve Torrence for the second race in a row Ashley came up just a little short of advance to his third final round in the Countdown.

“Today went really well and we got another semifinal finish,” said Ashley. “Being in the championship hunt against a driver like Steve it is almost like you must win every race. He is always on his A game. It was a tough loss but overall when you look at the weekend as a whole it was fantastic. We ran in the 3.60s a ton and we really have nothing to complain about. The car is running awesome. Now at this point we shift our focus to Vegas. We are going to take what we learned here and apply it to Vegas in two weeks.”

Qualifying Results

Q1: 3.726 sec, 329.50 mph; Qual. 2

Q2: 7.270 sec, 90.30 mph; Qual. 7

Q3: 3.688 sec, 330.80 mph; Qual. 5

Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest in Q1)

Race Results

First Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Justin Ashley                     5             .064       3.690     334.48 (W)

Shawn Langdon                10           .056       3.739     327.43

Second Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Justin Ashley                     5             .074       3.708     333.33 (W)

Billy Torrence                     4             .081       3.705     327.27

Semifinal Round
Driver                                  Qual       R/T         ET           MPH 
Justin Ashley                     5             .108       3.691     334.15

Steve Torrence                  1             .059       3.677     331.69 (W)

Camping World Drag Racing Series Countdown Top Ten – Top Fuel

1.          Steve Torrence                                    2575

2.          Brittany Force                                      2502

3.          Justin Ashley                                        2428

4.          Mike Salinas                                         2425

5.          Billy Torrence                                       2357

6.          Leah Pruett                                           2291

7.          Clay Millican                                         2265

8.          Antron Brown                                      2252

9.          Shawn Langdon                                   2228

10.       Doug Kalitta                                          2180

About Justin Ashley Racing
Justin Ashley Racing in partnership with Davis Motorsports fields the Smart Sanitizer Top Fuel dragster powered by Strutmasters.com 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.


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