ASHLEY, KALITTA AND ANDERSON LEAD QUALIFYING AT O'REILLY NHRA
New Yorker Mike Ashley raced to the
qualifying lead in Funny Car Friday at the O'Reilly NHRA Fall Nationals
presented by Castrol Syntec.
Ashley posted a 4.799 at 314.53 mph in his
Torco Racing Fuels Dodge Stratus at the all-concrete Texas Motorplex to lead his
category and join Top Fuel points leader Doug Kalitta and reigning Pro Stock
champion Greg Anderson as leaders after the first day of qualifying.
heavily-accented mortgage broker from Long Island, Ashley posted a
314.53 mph in his Dodge Stratus to overshadow the championship
Ron Capps and John Force. Capps' Dodge has him fifth
after a 4.865, while
Force's Ford carried him to 11th with a 4.983. It
is the first time Ashley
has led the 7,000 horsepower category since
moving from Pro Modified to Funny
Car last year at the U.S. Nationals.
"I think we've been underrated the
last four races," Ashley said. "I'm a
former champion. This is not the first
time I've been No. 1 qualifier. This shouldn't be a surprise. We've got all the
pieces here; a great sponsor in Torco Fuels, the resources of Don Schumacher
Racing, and a proven crew chief in Brian Corradi. The weak link has been me, but
this is my one-year anniversary driving these cars and I've learned a lot."
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