LAS VEGAS (April 3, 2022) — Through two days of qualifying at the NHRA Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals Justin Ashley and his Phillips Connect Toyota Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot made three solid runs in four rounds of qualifying. They rolled into race day as the No. 4 qualifier in a tough quad with 2019 Rookie of the Year Austin Prock, veteran Clay Millican and Jim Maroney. Ashley was looking for his first round win in the unique four-wide format.

“I loved having four qualifying sessions,” said Ashley, who opened the season with a win at the NHRA Winternationals. “That is one of the benefits of the Stampede of Speed at Texas Motorplex. It’s good for the team because it gives us more data and information to analyze going into Sunday. Having Q1 early in the afternoon gave us an opportunity to set a baseline and run more aggressively during the second run on Friday. It’s also is one more time down the track and one more time to look at the tree. It all adds up. I am all for four qualifiers whenever it is possible.”

Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot, photo by Ron Lewis

Ashley and his three competitors were the first four dragsters to hit the track. The consensus was all four lanes were even and Ashley’s mindset was focused on his lane, his tree and getting to the finish line in front of at least two of his opponents. The tree flashed and Ashley hit the throttle on his Phillips Connect Top Fuel dragster powered by Vita C Shot launched hard and went into immediate tire smoke. The 2020 Rookie of the Year was forced to watch as all three dragsters took off down track. There was no need to try and pedal his 11,000-horsepower race car and the three-time Top Fuel winner immediately turned his focus to the next race in three weeks in Houston.

“We went up to the starting line with a plan and got a different result,” said Ashley. “That’s racing. The important thing is to learn from this race and move on to the next one. As always, our Phillips Connect/Toyota team powered by Vita C Shot did great and put us in a nice qualifying position going to Sunday. But race day is a different day, especially during the four-wides when anything can happen. We are going to take the rest of the day and root on Antron. We are just going to focus on the next race.”

The Springnationals will be the final NHRA national event at Houston Raceway Park and Ashley is focused on making the most of his final run for returning sponsors Auto Shocker, KATO Fastening Systems and GuardLab.

“We want to win every race but when you know it is going to be the final race it makes it very special,” said Ashley. “Winning the final race gives your team a historic moment that no one can take away from you. You will be the last winner forever.”

Ashley will leave Las Vegas Four-Wide Nationals sitting in the No. 4 in the Camping World Drag Racing Series point standings.

Qualifying Results

Q1: 3.855 sec, 265.22 mph; Qual. 7

Q2: 3.924 sec, 285.98 mph; Qual. 9

Q3: 3.748 sec, 330.55 mph: Qual. 3

Q4: 4.015 sec, 224.96 mph; Qual. 4

Bonus Points: +2 (2nd quickest in Q2)

Race Results


W – No. 5; Clay Millican, Drummonds, Tenn., Parts Plus dragster,3.768, 321.65 mph

W – No. 12; Austin Prock,Pittsboro, Ind., Montana Brand/RMT dragster, 3.803, 324.83 mph

No. 13; Jim Maroney, Mesa, Ariz., American Flowtech dragster, 3.973, 300.73 mph

No. 4; Justin Ashley, Plainview, NY, Phillips Connect Vita C Shot dragster, 9.845, 75.15 mph

Camping World Drag Racing Series Top Ten – Top Fuel

1. Steve Torrence                      304

2. Brittany Force                        300

3. Mike Salinas                          297

4. Justin Ashley                         270

5. Clay Millican                          229

6. Austin Prock                           198

7. Tony Schumacher                  192

8. Josh Hart                                 189

9. Doug Kalitta                           168

10. Antron Brown                      164


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