SANFORD TO RACE IN SYDNEY FOR RAPISARDA NOV. 3-4
Popular Top Fuel driver Ashley Sanford will now take her talent Down Under.
In an exclusive interview with CompetitionPlus.com Saturday night, Sanford confirmed she will be driving a third Top Fuel dragster for Rapisarda Autosport International at the East Coast Thunder – the Nationals Nov. 3-4 at Sydney (Australia) Dragway.
“In my third Top Fuel event I get to race in the land Down Under, so I’m beyond stoked,” Sanford said. “I’ve only been a licensed Top Fuel driver for six months and about to become an international Top Fuel driver. I’m at a loss for words about how excited I am.”
Lee Beard, an NHRA world championship crew chief, will be tuning Sanford’s dragster in Sydney. Beard has won national events with 14 different drivers in his career.
Sanford made her second career Top Fuel start and debut driving for Rapisarda at the Midwest Nationals in St. Louis Sept. 29-Oct. 1.
“I love the Rapisarda family because they are like the Lagana boys, they are a family-oriented race team, grounded roots and they have a passion for this amazing crazy sport and they are really excelling at it,” Sanford said. “So, to get the last-minute call before St. Louis and drive for them was a great time. In the back of my mind, I was secretly hoping I could have a chance to work with them again and I got the call last night (Oct. 27) at 8 p.m. here in Las Vegas and I was asked if I wanted to drive their third Top Fuel dragster (in Sydney). I thought they were punking me. I’m honored that out of so many other drivers they could have gone with they believed in me after St. Louis.”
Sanford, a California native, made her Top Fuel debut when she competed at the U.S. Nationals in Indianapolis in September. Sanford was driving the Nitro Ninja dragster owned by the Lagana family.
Sanford will be racing her family-owned A Fuel dragster at the Toyota Nationals at The Strip at Las Vegas Motor Speedway Sunday. She qualified No. 12 and is racing against Duane Shields in the first round.
“Our (dragster) has been really consistent,” Sanford said. “I feel like I’m someone everyone should be watching out for (Sunday) because of how consistent our dragster has been. If I do my job on the tree, anything can happen. I will then leave Monday morning here from Vegas to go home and I will empty one suitcase and pack another one and head to Sydney Tuesday. When I come back, I will have about a day to recuperate and go out to the (NHRA) Finals (Nov. 9-12) in our family A Fuel car.”