CARQUEST Auto Parts NHRA Nationals
Ashley focuses on Chicago task amidst demanding week
In addition to running his Lend-America mortgage banking office, the official mortgage source for the National Hot Rod Association, Ashley was firmly entrenched in the responsibilities of assisting Evan Knoll with the formation of a new nitro Funny Car team to debut in
“You do what you have to do,” Ashley said. “In this case, I am intensely focused on every task at hand. I don’t look at these kinds of scenarios as adverse conditions. Rather, they are challenges. I enjoy meeting challenges head on and beating them.”
It seems like a distant memory for Ashley, but ironically it was this same weekend a year ago that the Melville, New York-based mortgage banker faced a similar trial. Ashley was the points leader in the Pro Modified division in the midst of a four-race winning streak and, with the blessings of his sponsor — Knoll, began licensing procedures the day after the Joliet event.
One day earlier, Ashley was the Pro Modified winner. On that Monday, he became a Funny Car rookie. However, his actions declared that he was no average rookie.
On the maiden voyage behind the wheel of Dale Creasy’s nitro-burner, Ashley was instructed to run to the eighth-mile and shut-off. Murphy’s Law was in effect as the
Instead of panicking, Ashley merely killed the fuel flow causing the motor to shut-off. The only damage to the car was a blown supercharger and light cosmetic damage when the engine dropped a cylinder, pulling him toward the right retaining wall.
Ashley exited the car knowing this was going to be a tough but attainable undertaking. The ability to focus on the task at hand was his saving grace that day.
“It was all about the focus,” Ashley said. “That was the key then and remains the key today.”
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